Few diseases are as heartbreaking as Alzheimer’s. The disease’s progressive nature slowly robs sufferers of their memories, often leaving them confused and frightened. Watching a loved one struggle with Alzheimer’s can devastate family and friends.
November is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month and National Family Caregivers Month. Here are a few ways to support a loved one that has Alzheimer’s disease.
1. Offer Practical Help
Providing practical help includes offering to handle some of their day-to-day tasks. This might include grocery shopping, cooking meals, paying bills, or providing transportation to doctor’s appointments. Taking on some of these responsibilities can help to lighten the load for your loved ones and give them more time to focus on their health and well-being.
Additionally, you can provide emotional support by listening to their concerns and offering encouragement. Letting them know that you are there for them can make a difference. The best way to support a loved one that has Alzheimer’s is to be patient, understanding, and flexible.
2. Offer Financial Help
The costs of Alzheimer’s care can be crippling, and even with insurance, many families struggle to keep up with the bills. By pitching in to help cover some of the costs, you can take some of the financial pressure off your loved one and their family. In addition, you can also offer to help with day-to-day expenses such as groceries or utility bills. Even small gestures like this can make a big difference in the lives of those navigating Alzheimer’s.
3. Offer Emotional Support
The disease can be extremely difficult to deal with for those affected and those who care about them. It’s important to be patient, understanding, and accepting. Try to avoid arguing or getting frustrated. Instead, focus on listening and providing reassurance. Let your loved ones know that you are there for them and that they are not alone. Provide physical touches, such as hugs and holding hands, which can help to reduce stress and anxiety. Showing support can make a big difference in your loved one’s quality of life.
It can be difficult to watch a loved one who suffers from Alzheimer’s. As the disease progresses, it can be hard to see your loved one struggle with memory loss, confusion, and changes in mood and behavior. It is important to be patient and understanding and provide practical help when needed, such as assisting with activities of daily living or providing transportation. Stay involved in your loved one’s life by participating in activities together and sharing memories. Consider getting involved with a local Alzheimer’s association. By taking these steps, you can help your loved one navigate a fulfilling life despite the challenges of Alzheimer’s disease.