When a person has Alzheimer’s, it gradually diminishes his or her ability to manage simple, day-to-day tasks. Things that once came easily may suddenly be challenging, confusing, or frustrating. As a caregiver, it requires immense patience on your part as you guide your loved one through these daily tasks, diffusing the frustration as best you can.

There are some practical ways to do this. A few of them include:

Have a routine. Those with Alzheimer’s can generally benefit greatly from a sense of structure to their days; trying to maintain a familiar daily rhythm can help reduce confusion and frustration.

Schedule wisely. If there are tasks that seem especially vexing to your loved one, try to schedule those for times of the day that tend to bring peak alertness.

Allow for plenty of time. Things that take you mere seconds may take someone with Alzheimer’s quite a bit longer; allow for plenty of flexibility in your daily schedule, and also let your loved one take breaks as needed. Nothing will cause frustration like a sensation of being rushed.

Get your loved one involved. Your loved one may still like to participate in daily tasks as best as he or she can; by laying out clothes, for example, you might empower your loved one to dress himself/herself.

Provide some options. You don’t want to overwhelm with too many choices, but you can present some simple ones throughout the day—would you like lemonade or water to drink? A sweater or a light jacket? To watch a movie or go for a walk?

Reduce distractions. Turn off the TV and the radio while your loved one is attempting something that frustrates them; allow them to focus as completely as they can.

Living with any kind of dementia will bring challenges—but as a caregiver, there is much you can do to manage and mitigate daily frustrations.

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