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Personal care for your loved one: Alzheimer’s patient

In most cases, the partner of an Alzheimer’s patient will have to care for the sick person. A patient usually cannot be left alone for long periods of time, especially if the disease is already in an advanced stage. Acquaintances, friends, environment and furnishings often have to undergo adjustments. How can the partner care for the sick person while the patient still lives at home and what are the other tips?

Care for Alzheimer’s patient

  • Independent care for Alzheimer’s patient or assistance
  • General tips for Alzheimer’s care
  • Food intake
  • Washing the partner
  • Hair care and shaving
  • Dental care
  • Going to the toilet


Independent care for Alzheimer’s patient or assistance

People with Alzheimer’s have special needs and therefore require special help. This presents unique challenges for the caregiver in helping the loved one appropriately. Depending on the level of independence of your partner with Alzheimer’s, assistance in the form of personal or outpatient care may be needed with eating, washing, shaving, and going to the toilet. To assist with this, care providers or the partner must have special knowledge, skills and patience. What are some tips for taking good care of your partner and what should you pay attention to?

General tips for Alzheimer’s care

Be sure to establish a schedule and regularity in caring for the sick person. As much as possible, care activities should take place at the same time in the same place each day. Regularity and repetition are good for the sick person. Brush teeth after every meal and take a bath or shower in the morning or evening. Choose the most appropriate time to carry out the care. Always respect the modesty of the sick person by closing doors and keeping the curtains drawn. Cover the partner with a towel or bathrobe. Encourage your loved one to do as much independently as possible. This helps to promote a sense of independence and achievement. Always give your partner enough time to complete each activity independently. If a task is an abyss, give a compliment such as: You combed your hair beautifully today. Also tell us if you are going to do something yourself, such as: I am going to wash your hair now. Use clothing that is easy to put on, without many buttons.

Food intake

Some symptoms of Alzheimer’s including confusion and a lack of energy are worsened by poor and inadequate nutrition. Make sure you provide your partner with a nutritious diet along with plenty of healthy fluids and juices. Encourage independent eating if your partner is able to do so. Consider serving snacks as these are easier for the person to consume. The ability to use a knife and fork can quickly decrease, but eating with your fingers is still possible. Specially shaped cutlery can also provide a solution. Make sure it is not force feeding. Let your partner eat for themselves and find out what they would rather not eat. Always treat your partner as an adult and not as a child.

Washing the partner

A complete bath is not necessarily necessary for a sick person every day. A sponge bath may be sufficient. Always check the temperature of the water in the bath or shower. If you are in the bathtub bathing the partner, make sure you use a chair with hand rests and a backrest. Also place a rubber mat in the bath to prevent slipping. The bathroom should be warm and well lit. Also avoid clothes and towels lying around. If your partner is heavy or has virtually no strength, then special equipment is necessary. Your doctor can provide advice on how to wash your partner safely.

Hair care and shaving

The hair must also be cared for and the man must be shaved regularly. What are the tips for washing the hair and shaving:

  • try washing your partner’s hair over the sink, especially if your partner prefers a bath to a shower;
  • if your partner feels like it, a visit to the barbershop is a nice outing and can be considered a positive experience;
  • use a dry shampoo if your partner cannot get out of bed or is afraid of having their hair washed;
  • shave with an electric appliance as this prevents the risk of cuts. Be sure to do this if your partner is taking blood thinners.


Dental care

The teeth are also an important asset for the Alzheimer’s patient. Always brush your partner’s teeth every day at a set time. Also clean the dentures daily. In addition, check whether the dentures still fit perfectly by checking the gums for areas of redness or blisters. If your partner is unwilling to open their mouth to brush, try cleaning only the outside. Ask the dentist for further advice on cleaning the dentures and also examining any irregularities in the mouth.

Going to the toilet

To be able to go to the toilet safely, additional hand rests and a raised toilet bowl are required. Using a small urinal near the bed can be useful if going to the toilet at night causes problems. Regular visits to the toilet also prevent accidents. Tell the doctor about any loss of bladder and bowel control so that the symptoms can be treated with medication.

read more

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  • How can Alzheimer’s be treated?
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