With the advancement of Alzheimer’s disease, the need for more and more help with the seemingly simple activities of daily living (ADLs), such as eating, dressing, basic hygiene (oral hygiene), shaving, driving, and eventually toileting also increases, as routines are forgotten and abilities deteriorate. ADLs are things that are required to be done on a daily basis to ensure good health and well-being. Activities that involve health and hygiene are called basic activities of daily living, which include eating, dressing, bathing, continence, ability to get out of bed or chair, walking, and toileting. On the other hand, instrumental activities of daily living are those that allow a person to live independently, such as housekeeping and laundry, managing financial matters, cooking, taking medication, shopping, transportation, etc.
For those who want to continue living independently after their dementia diagnosis, Anthem assisted living facilities, such as Senior Sanctuary of Anthem in Phoenix, are a great way to help you maintain your independence through specialized memory care programs.
As Alzheimer’s disease progresses, abilities including the capacity to perform those activities necessary to live independently start to worsen. As dementia is a progressive and degenerative brain disease, it hinders messages (that help people execute daily tasks) that are transmitted in the brain. Functions that dementia affects include memory, judgment and attention, behavioral and psychological symptoms, and visual-spatial changes, and the ADL this alters include
Bathing– This is one of the most difficult tasks managed by caregivers. It is advised to use a rubber nonslip mat, safety bars, and unbreakable plastic containers for soap and shampoo as a safety measure. It is equally important that you check the water temperature to prevent your loved from getting scalded. Allow him to do as much as possible, but never leave a confused or frail person at his/her own disposal in the bathroom. Always watch over him.
Managing Medication– People with Alzheimer’s are often required to take a number of medicines to treat the condition itself and other health problems. Gain a solid understanding of what each medication is for and how exactly to take it. Create a medication list that you can take to every doctor’s appointment. Use a timer or set reminders on a smartphone or other device for managing medication.
Grooming– Grooming rituals are an integral part of regular daily routine, which also partly leads to someone feeling good as they are well-groomed and look good. Assist men to shave with electric razors and encourage women to put on lipstick and powder if they always have. Schedule appointments to the salon from time to time or look for professionals who’ll come to your home.
Cooking– Being useful in some way, especially in the kitchen gives an individual with Alzheimer’s a massive sense of joy but physical challenges and memory loss can make some tasks challenging, and they should stay away from performing such tasks. To involve them, ask for their inputs on what and how to prepare and request a helping hand with trivial tasks like mixing, measuring, etc.
Dressing– The task of choosing the proper outfit proves daunting for many people with Alzheimer’s disease, which can end in them wearing mismatched outfits wrong for the season or missing a key component. You can help by keeping only one or two appropriate combinations in the dresser. Hand the person one clothing item at a time when they dress.
To help someone who has Alzheimer’s with their daily tasks, you need to remain calm (don’t get worked up), offer direction one at a time, practice what you preach meaning model the behavior alongside the person, make use of humor, allow extra time to reduce stress, decide what is really important and let go of the rest, maintain the same routine every day (practice activities at the same time every day), and lastly, take breaks from time to time, especially if the task is not going well and try again later.
With Senior Sanctuary of Anthem- an award-winning North Phoenix assisted living facility in AZ, day-to-day living activities such as bathing and getting dressed will be much easier, as there is added support.