Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is known for being a progressive disease. If you are an Alzheimer’s caregiver for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease (AD), you may be wondering just what it will take to provide care as the disease progresses. There are many online sources of education to learn more about the needs of a person with AD during the stages of Alzheimer’s disease. CLICK HERE to sign up for our free 25 lesson course at AlzU.org. It’s designed specifically for those in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers.
Once you feel you have a good idea of what type of care your loved one requires, it’s a good idea to formulate a plan of care, individualized for your loved one. A plan of care can help define immediate care needs, long term needs, and identify areas of care requiring additional support from other family members as well as outside resources.
Be sure to file the plan of care with your important papers and make copies for all individuals involved. Consult with family members, neighbors, and friends to identify sources of free help for simple needs such as companionship, running errands, helping with housekeeping chores and/or yard work. Find out which days and time spans each volunteer is available and then develop a plan of care with a daily flow chart including each
Here are some helpful tips to integrate into the plan of care:
•Daily and weekly goals (include the steps required to meet each goal for complex tasks)
•Hourly tasks for each day include the person assigned to complete the task-such as morning medications, meals, and bedtime care.
•List tasks to be completed every other day or weekly- such as helping with a shower or grocery shopping
•Integrate a monthly calendar into the plan of care to include all physicians’ visits and other appointments.
•Create a timeline for completing big plans such as relocation to a more structured living environment-designate the individual in charge of finding housing and those who will hire movers, etc.
•Keep a list of contact numbers with the plan of care, including everyone involved in direct personal care as well as those designated to help with driving, household chores and other tasks.
•Allow your loved one to be involved in the plan as much as he/she is capable
Once the plan of care is complete, and everyone has reviewed and approved it (including your loved one with AD), make a copy for each person involved. Be flexible and ready to make changes when needed.