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Alzheimer Care - Simplify for Success

Posted by on 7/15/2014

Dementia Makes Doing Activities Difficult

People with cognitive difficulties due to Alzheimer's or other types of dementia sometimes can talk better than they can actually perform.  This can throw caregivers off, as they think that since the person can talk about doing a task, he or she will have no trouble doing the task.  Doing an activity or task is more difficult than just talking about it and can be more complicated, for the person with dementia, than the caregiver might think.

Simplify Activities for Success with Dementia

So how can the daily routine and tasks be set-up to allow for success for the person with dementia? One word is the answer - simplify.. Below are ways to simplify and specific examples:

  • Simplify the environmentsimplifying in dementia care
    • Example: Simplify the bathroom sink area by eliminating extra combs, bottles, knick knacks, etc. A caddy holding only toothbrush/toothpaste, comb, razor or makeup can quickly simplify this area and make it much easier for the person with Alzheimer's to use this visual cue as a reminder of what to do.
  • Simplify communication
    • Example: When asking questions, give 2 choices such as "Would you like green beans or peas?".  Or ask yes/no questions.  This simplification narrows down the choices for the person, making it much easier for him or her to process the question and make a decision.
  • Simplify the task
    • Example: The caregiver can set out needed supplies for a task then ask the person to help.  For instance, the caregiver sets out the bread, peanut butter,  jelly, and plate, then asks the person to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Simplifying can take practice but over time it can become easier for caregivers to put into motion.  And they will soon see the benefits for both the person with dementia and for themselves as activities of the day go smoother, with less frustration for both parties.

Learn more about how caregivers can support the person with dementia


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