Millions of Americans find themselves needing to provide care for a relative or family member living with Alzheimer’s disease, and that number is projected to nearly triple by 2060. But, caring for someone with Alzheimer’s is very hard emotionally and physically. To provide the best care for our loved ones with Alzheimer’s, it’s really important to understand the stages of Alzheimer’s and the symptoms that come at each stage and get informed about how to support them throughout their journey. 


This article will help you understand Alzheimer’s disease and provide tips on how to care for someone with Alzheimer’s disease.


Understanding Alzheimer’s Disease 

Before we dive into how to care for someone with Alzheimer’s, first, we need to understand that Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive form of dementia characterized by memory loss, impaired thinking, and changes in behavior. 

Over time, people with Alzheimer’s will experience confusion, disorientation, and difficulty communicating and performing daily tasks. So, is it the same with dementia? Not quite. Dementia is an umbrella term that includes several cognitive disorders, and Alzheimer’s is one specific type in that group. If you’re still unsure about the difference between dementia and Alzheimer’s, check out our previous article for a deeper understanding.

For families, an Alzheimer’s diagnosis often means grieving the gradual loss of their loved one’s personality and abilities. And let’s not sugarcoat it – caring for someone with Alzheimer’s is no walk in the park. It’s a journey full of ups and downs in feelings and physical challenges. Families suddenly find themselves juggling more caregiving responsibilities as their loved ones navigate the challenging road of decline. 

how to care for someone with Alzheimer's

Stages of Alzheimer’s

To best understand how to care for someone with Alzheimer’s, first, we need to know the stages of Alzheimer’s and their associated symptoms. Alzheimer’s typically undergoes a gradual transformation across these three primary stages:

Early Stage: The signs are subtle – some word-finding troubles or misplaced items. These minor memory lapses come and go at first. However, they indicate the early changes in the brain from the start of Alzheimer’s.

Middle Stage: Often the longest, brings worsening confusion. Even familiar places become baffling. Repeated questions and the need for more assistance with daily living emerge as Alzheimer’s progresses.

Late Stage: This stage is profoundly difficult. Communication becomes extremely impaired as the disease advances. Many lose awareness of their surroundings and loved ones. Most eventually require full-time in-home care for basic activities like eating, walking, and dressing. 


How to Care For Someone With Alzheimer’s Disease

how to care for someone with Alzheimer's


1. Create a Safe and Comfortable Environment 

Now, let’s answer how to care for someone with Alzheimer’s disease in their own home. First, we must create a safe home environment by installing handlebars in the bathroom, adding railings on both sides of stairways, and removing tripping hazards like rugs and cords. Also, consider adding more lighting and installing locks out of sight to prevent wandering symptoms in the elderly with Alzheimer’s.

To learn more about home safety tips for seniors, refer to our previous article.  


2. Communicate Effectively 

Now, let’s talk about talking. Communication is vital in how to care for someone with Alzheimer’s. Still, it must adapt as the disease progresses to the late stage. The tips are simplifying the language, being patient, and paying attention to non-verbal cues. A calm and reassuring expression can work miracles when faced with confusion, fear, or aggression. It’s a universal language of love that goes beyond words.


3. Establish a Routine

Establishing a stable environment is crucial in how to care for someone with Alzheimer’s. Creating and maintaining a routine, such as scheduled meal time or game time, provides structure and predictability for individuals with Alzheimer’s, which helps reduce anxiety and confusion. Consistency helps individuals feel secure and in control, mitigating the impact of cognitive decline.

Remember that the goal is to build routines that fit the individual’s unique situation. As Alzheimer’s worsens, caregivers must be flexible with those routines. What worked yesterday might not work today. Routines need to adapt as the person’s needs change over time. Tweaking the schedule helps create stability even as the disease progresses. 


4. Maintain a Balanced Diet 

Maintaining a balanced diet is vital for individuals with Alzheimer’s. A well-rounded diet provides essential nutrients for overall health and cognitive function while staying hydrated supports mood and mental sharpness. A recent systematic review even found that certain diets,  such as the Mediterranean and ketogenic diets, along with taking omega-3 fatty acids and probiotics, help protect against the advancement of mild to moderate Alzheimer’s.

Unfortunately, cooking and meal prep can pose significant challenges for someone with Alzheimer’s. However, there’s good news – you and your family don’t have to bear this burden alone. 

how to care for someone with Alzheimer's

Support is readily accessible through Alzheimer’s in-home care. This hands-on assistance offers preparation for a balanced diet and fosters human connection, contributing to an enhanced quality of life for those navigating Alzheimer’s.


5. Encourage Social Interaction 

There are many benefits of staying socially active as someone ages, especially those with Alzheimer’s. Simple things can make a difference, like spending some quality time with family and friends, participating in activities like playing cards at a senior center, or even joining a support group. Companionship service of Alzheimer’s in-home care can also facilitate social interaction through conversation, games, looking at photo albums, music, or other engaging activities. 

These interactions aren’t just about having a good time – they’re powerful tools for preserving a sense of identity and connection for a person with Alzheimer’s.


6. Reach out for Support 

Last but not least, how to care for someone with Alzheimer’s is a crucial step in reaching out for support. Caregiving is challenging, and recognizing signs of caregiver burnout is essential. Keep an eye out for the warning signs, like feeling stressed, sad, or frustrated all the time. It’s necessary to pay attention to your well-being and seek help if you need it. Resources are available to help caregivers, from in-home care options to support groups. Getting support isn’t just good for you – it also lets you be the best caregiver possible for your loved one with Alzheimer’s.


End Note  

To recap the answer to how to care for someone with Alzheimer’s, remember that learning about Alzheimer’s, adapting to changing needs, and following the useful tips available allow caregivers to give the best care with compassion. Making a safe home, communicating positively, sticking to routines, eating healthy meals, staying social, and finding support can provide stability through the challenges the disease brings. 

For additional resources, professional support, and dedicated Alzheimer’s care services, contact Sunny Days Carolinas In-Home Care. Our team is here to provide the assistance and guidance you and your loved one need. Don’t navigate this path alone; let us help you by providing your loved ones with comprehensive and compassionate Alzheimer’s care services.


Contact Sunny Days Carolinas today!