Caring for a person or loved one with dementia or Alzheimer's disease is challenging at times, especially at the beginning and during times of transition. Fortunately, the Long Island Alzheimer's and Dementia Center has outlined our top caregiver tips for those whose loved one’s have Alzheimer's or another type of dementia.
Read on for more tips for caregivers coping with dementia, and don't hesitate to reach out to our licensed social work team for professional support, guidance, and solutions.
Establish a Daily Routine for the Person with Dementia
Establishing a daily routine can provide many benefits for both you and your loved one with dementia or Alzheimer's disease. When possible, we recommend keeping a relatively consistent mealtime, wake-up time, and sleeping times.
Creating a schedule will not only help them to stay engaged and busy throughout the day, it may also decrease challenging behavioral symptoms and improve their mood. The Penn Memory Center offers a sample daily routine schedule you may consider using.
Morning Sample Daily Routine for People with Dementia
Afternoon Sample Routine Schedule for a Person with Alzheimer's or Dementia
Evening Sample Routine Schedule for Someone with Dementia or Alzheimer's Disease
Of course, your schedule can be tailored to the unique needs and interests of the person with dementia.
Dementia Tips for Caregivers at Mealtime
Mealtimes can be difficult or stressful for caregivers and those with dementia. However, there are several ways you can make mealtimes more enjoyable and successful for your loved one. One key tip is to understand the reason for any changes in eating habits for the person with dementia.
Surprisingly, the dementia diagnosis may not be the cause of their change in appetite. For example, your loved one living with dementia could be eating less because of a loss of taste as a medication side effect. Here are a few tips you can use to make mealtimes more enjoyable for all.
Create Meaningful Engagement Opportunities
Meaningful interactions can help decrease challenging behaviors, improve mood, and help with sleep. Meaningful, stimulating, and pleasant activities that help create an emotional connection, trigger memories, and engage the senses are undoubtedly the most impactful. Examples include:
There are an endless range of activities you can perform with your loved one to create meaningful engagement.
Participate in Virtual and In-Person Programming at LIAD
If you struggle to develop activities, the Long Island Alzheimer's & Dementia Center can help. Join us Monday through Saturday at our day programs for engaging and stimulating activities. You can also visit our Virtual Programs page to watch and participate with our program assistants as they coach through activities such as exercise, sing-a-long, word games and more!
In-Person Hands-On Programming
Since temporarily closing our doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we reopened in June 2021 with new protocols in place to maintain a safe and structured environment for our families and staff.
Our new coronavirus protocols include:
Learn more about our in-person day programs:
Self-Care Is Paramount
As a caregiver, you have a lot on your plate. But no matter the circumstances, it's imperative for you to take care of yourself. A few key tips for you to take care of yourself and manage your anxiety include:
Attend Peer-Based Group Therapy
At the Long Island Alzheimer's & Dementia Center, we also offer a community of support for caregivers through our Support Group program. Our support groups are hosted by licensed social workers and tailored to best meet your needs. We offer groups for:
Get One-on-One Therapy
We also offer a Counseling Service for those who prefer more of a one-on-one session. Our licensed clinical social workers offer psychotherapy via Telehealth as well as in-person sessions. Therapy can help you:
To learn more about our caregiver support services by calling (516) 767-6856.