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Quality of Life for People wtih Alzheimer's

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Updated: January 18, 2006

Alzheimer's caregivers guide to quality of life issues

Everyone needs a life in which they feel loved and valued. Everyone wants a life in which there are stimulating things to do, activities that give pleasure and an ability to have some control over what they do. The list of what makes life worth living is large and varies from person to person.

As life progresses the emphasis on what constitutes important life roles shift and there is a need to adapt to changes in both our physical and psychological capacities. But still there remains a need to live a life of fulfilment. This remains the case when people get sick and it therefore remains the case if we get Alzheimer's.

Caregivers tips to maximize quality of life for someone with Alzheimer's
Tailoring a life to the needs of a person with Alzheimer's, especially as the disease progresses, can be a challenge. Try to vary activities in the day. A walk, watching TV, reading to them, visiting and being visited by friends and relatives, going to a day care center, a drive out, etc.

Importance of routine in Alzheimer's life
Some people with Alzheimer's respond very well to a routine at certain times of the day, for instance, as bedtime nears, if a person likes music, playing a tranquil piece that they have always enjoyed can help them recognize it is night time. The mood of the music will help them relax. It can give a caregiver valuable time preparing for something, relaxing and having time to themselves.

Caregivers quality of life and Alzheimer's
In your role as caregiver you have look after yourself. As the demands on your time increase you may feel your quality of life diminish. If that is the case you must seek help. If relatives and friends cannot help you, look to your local Alzheimer's society for support. You may also need to consider a package of care for your loved one. Improving your quality of life will have a positive effect on your caregiving skills.

Article updated 01/18/2006

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