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Be a Better Caregiver: Learn the 6 Rs in Alzheimer’s Care

6 Rs in Alzheimer’s care
Learn the 6 Rs in Alzheimer’s care and how they can help you better care for someone you love with dementia.

When providing care for a loved one with Alzheimer’s, it is important to remind yourself that you ARE capable, you ARE doing an excellent job, and you ARE making a difference! And while you’re self-affirming, there are several additional “Rs” which can help both you and the individual in your care: the 6 Rs in Alzheimer’s care.

What Are the 6 Rs in Alzheimer’s Care?

Learning these six steps and keeping them in the front of your mind will help you better manage a number of the more difficult aspects of dementia:

  1. Reassure: What was once familiar and routine may now be distressing and alarming. This can include loud noises, waning daylight hours, unknown visitors, and sometimes even hallucinations. Offer words of reassurance such as, “You’re safe. It’s ok. I am going to stay here with you.”
  2. Reassess: Try to discover the root cause for the person’s agitation or fear. Be sure to explore any potential physical causes, for example, hunger, thirst, pain, or discomfort. If you are unsure, check in with the individual’s physician for direction.
  3. Reconsider: Give consideration to how the specific trigger is impacting the individual. Remind yourself that none of these behaviors or reactions are deliberate. They are the results of the disease of dementia. A little bit of empathy can go a long way towards reducing their stress, and yours.
  4. Redirect: Find a relaxing task, or change the environment. If the noise from the dishwasher is disturbing the individual, simply going into the living room to work on a puzzle may be all that is necessary to restore a sense of calm.
  5. Relax: Any anxiety you’re expressing, either through body posture or words, will more than likely aggravate the situation. Take a deep breath, relax your body, and use a calm, quiet voice. Make sure to designate plenty of time away from your care duties for self-care too.
  6. Review: Once the person is calm again, reflect back on the situation to figure out what worked (or did not work). Keeping a journal is a good way to track coping mechanisms and their effectiveness.

Providing care for a person with Alzheimer’s is a selfless undertaking that, while fulfilling and rewarding, can be extremely challenging and emotionally draining. The best thing you can do for your loved one is to make sure you’re taking excellent care of yourself. Allow plenty of time for activities and socialization with others to ensure you stay rested and refreshed.

If you are finding it difficult to step away from your caregiving role on a routine basis, give Home Sweet Home In-Home Care a call. We can meet with you in the comfort of home to talk through the difficulties you are facing and to offer more Alzheimer’s care tips in addition to in-home Alzheimer’s care support. We are here to help any time you need us. Give us a call at (866) 229-2505 or contact us online for assistance in Battle Creek, Kalamazoo, Paw Paw, St. Joseph, and the surrounding areas.

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