By Kristine Dwyer, Staff Writer
2) Managing Behaviors:
The symptoms of AD make it harder for people to
maintain their former lifestyle and function in
their surroundings. Many symptoms and behaviors can
be better managed with varied communication styles,
physician support and adjustments in the home
environment that are suitable to the needs and
limitations of the person with AD.
- Remember the worth of the person with AD and
respond with reassuring, supportive care, and
affection when able.
- Refer to AD as a “memory problem” to help
- Support positive behaviors while not taking
problem behaviors personally.
- Remember that this disease is no one’s
- Consider managing behaviors such as
wandering, aggressiveness or anxiousness with
medication guidance from the physician.
- If red flags are prevalent and caregiving
becomes unmanageable or unsafe in the home
setting, placement in an assisted living home,
memory care facility or nursing home may need to
be considered for the person with AD.
3) Structured Activities:
Apathy, lack of engagement and follow-through with
activities are characteristic of all three stages,
but are especially noted during the mid-stage
period. That is why it is so important to focus on
routine and structure for activities of daily
living. Also, one of the most meaningful issues at
mid-stage is engaging a person with AD in purposeful
activities. Caregivers, family and friends may
underestimate what the person with AD understands
and over estimate what they can do independently.
- Routines are reassuring to the person with
Alzheimer’s and can be a substitute for the
- Plan for a daily walking program together
with the person with AD to promote exercise and
- Try to plan a structure for each day and
include them in small projects that provide a
sense of purpose and accomplishment.
- Offer consistent behavior cues or
demonstrations to encourage the person to finish
- Set milestones for the day such as showers,
dressing, meals in the home or dining out,
visiting with others, coffee breaks, walks, TV
shows and bedtime routines.
4) Caregiver Support:
Alzheimer’s is an insidious disease and has profound
and extreme effects on both the person with AD and
the caregiver. About 80 percent of people diagnosed
with AD are cared for at home by family members.
Caring for a person with AD is more difficult than
other types of family caregiving. Ultimately, the
health and well-being of the caregiver will directly
impact the care of the person with Alzheimer’s and
determine the course of decisions to be made.