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Caregiving Tips for Those with Alzheimer’s and Dementia

by Noah Lam, COO of CWI Medical, LLC, December 10, 2014

 

Caregiver working with Someone with Dementia

Being a part of a Caregiver Association that advocates for loved ones and caregivers, there has been a particular situation shared by many.  A parent with Alzheimer’s and Dementia may have at times been found walking around naked, and, or taken off their incontinence garment or adult diaper .  Alzheimer’s and Dementia of a loved one can be difficult on the caregiver.  The loss of cognitive functions of knowing when to go to the bathroom can be common.  We have a few tips and suggestions to address this occurrence.

  1. Set up a regular schedule.  While this can provide a sense of order for the loved one.  This schedule helps the caregiver be in control of the situation and provide some sence of decorum when everything else seems chaotic.  It might look like first thing in the morning, 1 hour after breakfast, 1 hour after lunch, 1 hour after dinner and before bedtime.
  2. Track when food is eaten and fluids are drunk.  This will help the schedule of changings and reduces the randomness when Great Grandpa decides to take off his Adult Diaper , Brief, Protective Underwear or Pull Up in the middle of the house. At the same time do not withhold fluids, which then can lead to dehydration, constipation, urinary tract infections and other medical conditions.
  3. Note that caffinated drinks like cola, coffee or tea can act as a diuretic which increases urination.
  4. Review their medicines as some prescriptions can relax the bladder muscles.
  5. Putting their own underpant, underwear or panty over the incontinence product, might help jog the memory of Grandma, she might properly void in the bathroom.
  6. Keep the home clutter free to make it easier for Grandpa to find the bathroom.  This will also help avoid any tripping hazards.
  7. Help them wear easy to remove clothing so that they can take them off when needed instead of being frustrated with a piece of clothing that they now have difficulty removing.
  8. Spend a day in the background observing them to see if there are any challenges that you can fix immediately.  They can be very simple to change and provide much relief to you as well as your loved one.
  9. Be supportive with words like:
    • “Looks like you spilled something” instead of “you wet yourself.”
    • Remember do not make the person feel guilty, because we all might be in the same situation.
  10. Review your over incontinence products
    • A bed pad ( underpad ) and bed cover will help protect the bed.   
    • Seek advice from your incontinence specialist from CWI Medical and your Healthcare Provider Team.

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Noah Lam has over 20 years of experience of providing high quality medical supplies and healthcare products from Acute Care Facilities to parents and children. His company, CWI Medical is a leading provider of clinical diabetic nutrition to healthcare facilities, dialysis centers, and for home use. In addition, CWI Medical is an ACHC Accredited organization maintaining standards of excellence in the Healthcare Field. To read about his fitness journey from couch potato to doing his Ironman, click here

 

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