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New to Caregiving for Grandmother with Alzheimer's- Advice needed
My grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in September 2018. We have been able to get her in an adult day care and home health aide for the hours until my mother can get home. As a caregiver, my mother does everything she can for my grandmother as well as take care of all chores and responsibilities of rhe house. My grandmother has to be supervised to prevent any accidents and because she starts doing things around the house thinking she is helping but only making more work. I do not want to see my mother deriorate as this newly found position is taking a toll both emotionally and physically. Does anybody have any advice on maybe how to make things easier? Anything that would help make things better for my grandmother and mother. Maybe rearranging things in the house a certain way, child proofing, etc? Any advice for my mother as a caregiver to help her manage the stress and help her emotional well-being? If it helps, I can be more specific on incidents that happen.
Any information is helpful.
Good day, first of all I am new to this life as well being the care taker for my mom. I have had to child proof my home, by putting door locks on the rooms not being used, clearing off counters in the bathroom, keeping her room very simple. setting up a nest camera in her room. letting her do things like setting the table ( then fixing later ) letting her wash some dishes ( cleaning them again later ). My mom did not and does not like to do any painting, crafts, puzzles all things they say to do with them. Its hit and miss with each one. I just try my best to shower her with love and patience Its a lot, I have not found any help at home as of yet, I gave up my job to take care of my mom. I would try to have the care giver keep mom up until your mom gets home just so she can sleep once mom is home and mom can get herself a break. reading postings on this sight have been really helpful to me and I am always researching. Best of luck to you and your family. They say make sure you take care of the care giver first and I am starting to really listen. Its life changing and mind exhausting.
It is 24/7 care. But, yes, rearranging things around the house, locking certain bedroom doors, removing certain items, are some of the things I had to do.
I work full time, and I miss a lot of time from work because of my father. He does have someone caring for him while I'm gone, but I do the caring overnight for diaper changes. When I come home, I do all the grooming too. It just ongoing and it seems like no end. I'm sorry, but I have to say it's tiring and is taking a toll.
I guess one thing that's important is to stay healthy as much as possible, and keep sane.
I have found most help is all situational, so you should maybe give us examples of the things you and your mom need help with, and of course what works for one person may not for another. And even what works for grandma today may not in 3 months.
There are alarms for doors if she tends to wonder, there are ways to make a stove not work if thats an issue. Think safety first, tackle those issues, and then move on to the rest.
I think the biggest thing I have realized I had to do, was make EVERYTHING as simple as I could. Involve grandma in doing it, but minimize what you can. My mom would go through her clothes almost obsessively looking for an outfit for Sunday church, and then always wore the same one every time. I asked her if she would be willing do downsize and give to charity. She loves helping out the community. So we went through everything and counted. We only kept 3 winter PJs, three summer sets, and 3 gowns. That sort of thing. When we got to dress clothes, I asked her to pick just the one black skirt she liked most (she had at least 10 plain black skirts), then lets pick 3 colorful skirts you like and matching shirts. We hung them as outfits on the same hanger. We got rid of enough clothing to give two people a full wardrobe, and in doing so minimized her going through her things over and over and over. Everything I make as simple as possible for her lowers the stress and anxiety she had over that thing/issue, and mine in the process as well.
Welcome to our world, illy. i'm so glad you found us.
And thank you to all those experienced caregivers who responded.
Here is a list of information I try to keep updated for the forum. I'm a retired RN who was an Alzheimer's care nurse for many years. I have tried to include much of the information you will need. Here's the website:
This is an updated (AUGUST 1 2018 ) list of links
about information care givers will need. I check it and add to it on a regular basis. If you find something you would like to add, let me know.
The first is a very helpful article is: "Understanding the dementia experience" It will give you an idea
of what your LO is going through, and what they need to have a good
quality of life. "Communication skills" demonstrates better ways for you to
communicate with the person who has dementia by
encouraging their cooperation and reducing the chance of negative
There are many other links included here which will be more applicable, and very helpful as your LO's dementia progresses.
It is also important for you
to use the 800 number at the National Alz. Assoc. if you run into problems we
can't help with. The 24/7 Helpline is: 1 800 -272- 3900 Ask for a care counselor. This service is free.
Hoping this helps,