In-Home Care: Advice for Late Stage Alzheimer's Patients
Remembering to carry out a few important basic nursing care procedures to people with Alzheimer's can make all the difference to their health, welfare and comfort. In late stages 6 and 7 of Alzheimer's your loved one now relies on you to initiate or carry out most of their basic hygiene requirements. Doing them regularly helps prevent sores, scratches, infection, and prevents and/or lessens pain. Promoting cleanliness can also have a major positive psychological effect on someone who is ill. Touching, the interaction between caregiver and care receiver, soothing words, all shows care and concern that is so important for human beings, no matter what their situation.
Here are some important caregiver tips on basic hygiene:
Skin and Hair Care
Regular washing of the skin and keeping skin dry with simple, fragrance-free soap and moisturizers will help to prevent skin from breaking down. In elders skin becomes more fragile so it needs more care rather than less.
Keep hair clean with a weekly wash (more if it becomes greasy or dirty). If the person with Alzheimer's has long hair think about getting it cut shorter or keep it up to avoid it getting in food or otherwise contaminated. Treat any skin disorders such as dandruff or dermatitis. See a doctor should any rashes occur.
Incontinence often becomes a major issue as mobility decreases. Skin needs frequent washing and care. There are devices that can help with incontinence and prevent skin being wet for long periods of time. For more information and better coping strategies of incontinence click onto:
Neglecting mouth care can lead to infection, poor food intake, health problems and can cause distress and discomfort. Mouth care involves:
~ Getting regular dental checkups
~ Carrying out mouth care twice a day
~ Maintaining mouth care equipment hygienically
~ Making sure dentures are cleaned and fit properly.
More information about Mouth Care tips and Alzheimer's
Hand and Foot Care Care
It is important to keep nails short and clean. Soft, thin cotton gloves may be helpful at times if scratching becomes a problem.
A chiropodist visiting on a regular basis can attend to corns and thick nails. A doctor can advise on chronic conditions like fungal nail infections, athletes foot etc.
Hand and foot care is so important to help maximise levels of mobility, this includes someone who is bed-bound, to maintain a degree of ability to move themselves in their bed.
Joint and Muscle Care
Try to promote exercise to keep your loved one as mobile as is possible. Passive exercise can help prevent contractures of joints and promoting and maintaining movement. Pain in joints is common especially in elders so any redness, swelling or heat in joints must be investigated by a doctor. Regular analgesic drugs should still be given and regularly assessed to help with pain control. Some devices such as walkers, walking sticks can promote stability and keep people with even severe late stage Alzheimer's mobile.
Ear and Auditory Care
Cleaning the outer ear during washing will help prevent infection. Increasing deafness is a common problem in elders so it is that important that hearing aids are maintained and the most appropriate devise used. Hearing remains important even in the very last stages of life. Dementia should not mean that hearing issues are ignored. A doctor can advise you on the best products and refer you to an appropriate person to assess hearing problems and devices.
People who have worn spectacles should be encouraged to continue to do so for as long as possible. Keeping eyes clean is important to prevent damage to the delicate cornea and prevent infection.
Important Information About Late Stage Alzheimer's
Remember to keep on top of any aids such as spectacles, dentures, hearing aids, or any additional equipment used to enhance quality of life. Aids have a habit of wearing out or they need to be upgraded over time. Such actions can help reduce discomfort, behavioral problems and anxiety as well as promoting wellbeing.
More Caregiver Information for Late Stage Alzheimer's