Caring for Someone with Alzheimer's Disease

Alzheimer’s Disease can be distressing, not just for the person who’s diagnosed, but their loved ones too. If you’re caring for someone with Alzheimer’s, here’s what you should keep in mind.

By URLife Team
21 Sep 2023

According to a 2023 report presented by Alzheimer’s Association, the estimated dementia prevalence for adults ages 60+ in India is 7.4 per cent. About 8.8 million Indians older than 60 years live with dementia.


Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia, which destroys healthy brain cells and affects a person’s ability to think, memorise and behave. Caring individuals with Alzheimer’s disease requires caregivers’ dedicated time, energy and round the clock presence. 


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Being a caregiver can be demanding and it often takes a toll on the caregivers’ physical and mental health. But with patience, understanding, and a well-structured approach, you can make a significant difference in slowing down the progression of Alzheimer’s and make it manageable for you too.


Establish a Routine

One of the most critical aspects of caring for someone with Alzheimer's is establishing a consistent daily routine. People with Alzheimer's often feel more secure and less anxious when they know what to expect. Here are some steps to create an effective routine:

a. Set a regular schedule

Consistency is key. Establish fixed times for waking up, meals, medication, and bedtime.


b. Create a familiar environment

Minimise changes in the living space to reduce confusion and disorientation.


c. Use visual cues

Labels, signs, and colour-coded objects can help the person navigate daily tasks.


Help the Person with a To-Do List

Creating a to-do list tailored to the individual's abilities and preferences can be a powerful tool in Alzheimer's care. Here's how to do it effectively:

a. Involve the person

Ask them about their interests, hobbies, and daily preferences. What activities do they enjoy or find meaningful?


b. Keep it simple

Break tasks into small, manageable steps. Simplify instructions and use clear, concise language.


c. Prioritise safety

Ensure that the to-do list includes essential tasks such as taking medications, eating, and personal hygiene.


d. Celebrate achievements

Encourage and celebrate their accomplishments, no matter how small. This fosters a sense of purpose and boosts their self-esteem.


Plan Activities

Engaging in purposeful activities is vital for someone with Alzheimer's. These activities can help stimulate their cognitive and emotional well-being. Here's how to plan activities effectively:

a. Tailor activities to their abilities

Choose activities that match their current cognitive and physical capabilities. This might include puzzles, simple crafts, or listening to music.


b. Be flexible

Be prepared to adapt or change activities if the person becomes frustrated or disinterested.


c. Encourage social interactions

Organise visits with friends and family, or consider joining a support group for both you and the person with Alzheimer's


d. Sensory stimulation

Engage the senses with activities like listening to music, gardening, or sensory-rich experiences.


e. Exercise

Encourage light physical activities, such as short walks, to promote physical health.


f. Cognitive games

Play memory-enhancing games and puzzles to stimulate mental acuity.


Educate Yourself

Understanding Alzheimer's disease is the first step in providing effective care. Here's how you can educate yourself:

a. Learn about the disease

Take the time to research Alzheimer's disease. Understand its stages, symptoms, and progression. This knowledge will help you anticipate changes in your loved one's behaviour and plan accordingly.


b. Seek support and resources

Join Alzheimer's support groups, either in-person or online. These communities can provide invaluable insights, tips, and emotional support. Additionally, organisations like the Alzheimer's Association offer a wealth of educational materials and workshops.


c. Communicate with doctors

Develop a strong partnership with your loved one's healthcare team. Regularly consult with their doctor or specialist to stay updated on their condition and discuss potential treatment options or medications that may help manage symptoms.


d. Safety precautions

Learn how to create a safe environment for your loved one. This includes securing the home, removing potential hazards, and ensuring they are well-supervised.


Promote Nutritious Eating

Proper nutrition is crucial for individuals with Alzheimer's disease, as it can help maintain physical health and cognitive function. Here's how to promote nutritious eating:

a. Balanced diet

Encourage a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Offer a variety of foods to ensure they receive essential nutrients.


b. Consistent meal times

Establish regular meal times and routines. People with Alzheimer's often thrive on structure, and predictable mealtimes can reduce confusion and anxiety.


c. Hydration

Ensure your loved one stays hydrated. Offer water and other beverages throughout the day, and monitor their intake, as they may forget to drink.


d. Adaptive utensils

Consider using adaptive utensils, plates, and cups if motor skills decline. Adaptive utensils are specialised eating tools designed to assist individuals with various physical or cognitive limitations in safely and effectively managing their meals.These tools can make eating more manageable and enjoyable.


Planning the Future

Planning for the future is a critical aspect of Alzheimer's caregiving. As the disease progresses, the individual's needs and abilities will change, and you must be prepared for these transitions.

a. Legal and financial matters

Early on, consider discussing legal and financial matters with the person diagnosed with Alzheimer's and their family. This may include setting up power of attorney, discussing wills, and ensuring access to financial resources for caregiving needs.


b. Long-term care planning

Depending on the stage of Alzheimer's, think about the long-term care needs of your loved one. This could involve researching care facilities, understanding insurance coverage, and making arrangements for potential transitions in care settings.


Tips for Caregivers: Taking Care of Yourself

As a caregiver, it's essential to prioritise self-care to ensure your own well-being and provide the best care possible. Here are some tips for caregivers on taking care of yourself:

Seek Support

Don't hesitate to ask for help from family, friends, or support groups. Caregiving is a team effort, and you don't have to do it alone.


Set Realistic Expectations

Understand that you can't do everything. Set achievable goals and don't be too hard on yourself if you can't meet every need.


Take Breaks

Regular respite is crucial. Schedule breaks to recharge, whether it's a short walk, a hobby, or a visit to a friend. Respite care services can also provide temporary relief. Respite care is a valuable support service designed to provide temporary relief to primary caregivers. It allows you to take a break from your caregiving responsibilities, whether for a few hours, a day, or longer, to rest, recharge, and attend to your own needs. 


Prioritise Your Health

Don't neglect your own health. Attend medical appointments, eat well, exercise, and get enough rest. You can't provide care if you're not well.


Accept Your Feelings

Caregiving can be emotionally challenging. It's okay to feel a range of emotions, including frustration, sadness, and even resentment at times. Acknowledge these feelings, and consider seeking counselling or therapy if needed.


Stay Organised 

Keep track of appointments, medications, and important documents. Being organised can reduce stress and make caregiving more manageable.


Caring for someone with Alzheimer's requires patience, empathy, and adaptability. Establishing a routine, helping them curate a to-do list, and planning suitable activities can significantly enhance their quality of life while providing the necessary structure and support. Remember that every individual's journey with Alzheimer's is unique, so stay attuned to their changing needs and emotions.


Need all your wellness solutions in one place? A whole new world awaits just a click away.


Regular health checks are essential for everyone, but they are particularly important for individuals who are at risk of or already have Alzheimer’s disease. Taking regular health checks can help detect Alzheimer’s disease at an early stage when it is easier to manage and treat. With the UR.Life HRA, we help you to invest in your well-being through seamless interventions and targeted medical treatments. Our holistic wellness approach caters to all aspects of your well-being. We ensure that you can bring your whole self to work.

With our medical professionals by your side, routine health check-ups will never be an issue. Advanced laboratory technologies back UR.Life’s Occupational Health Centers (OHC), and with highly qualified experts/technicians, we’re committed to delivering trusted and quality recommendations, modifications and advice to you.



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