Tasks that we take for granted may take up a large portion of a caregiver's day. To cope, try some of these strategies from the Alzheimer's Association and the Family Caregiver Alliance:
- Take into account your relative's tastes, even if they seem odd to you. For instance, someone with Alzheimer's disease may want to wear the same outfit every day. If so, purchase several identical outfits. You should also consider photographing your relative in this clothing, so if he or she wanders away, you can give the police a more precise description. Register with the Alzheimer's Association Medic Alert/Safe Return program. Always keep a current photograph.
- Buy comfortable, washable, easy-to-remove clothing. Look for clothes with Velcro closures, snaps and elastic waistbands. When helping your relative dress, don't rush; that only creates stress. If he or she is having trouble dressing, lay out the clothing in the order that it should be put on. Limit choices in the closet to items that are appropriate to the season and weather.