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Creative Alzheimer’s Care Tips: What’s Yours?

Those of us who care for an elderly person with dementia or Alzheimer’s on a regular basis know that it can be a difficult situation to be in. Luckily, there may be some handy “life hacks” you haven’t tried yet to help you make it through the day. Don’t worry; the lovely people of Reddit have you covered.

Here are some tips from caregivers and family members of Alzheimer’s patients on the best things they know how to do to make life a little easier for both the person with Alzheimer’s and those around them. Our hope is that their personal experiences will help you stress a little less about your loved one and their condition.

Note: Some comments have been edited for length or grammar.

Supplement words with pictures

“I found a phone with a place for pictures on the speed dial buttons so it’s easy for him to call people without searching for a name he may not remember.” — Reddit user Myfeelingsarehurt

Give them old photos to look at

“My dad loved his digital photo frame. I could load on tons of old pictures and he’d watch it for hours. It also played music.” — Reddit user Lordica

Seniorin mit altem Foto aus ihrer jugend

Tell a few white lies when necessary

“I lie to him. He wants to call his mother (dead 50 years)? I say she’s out shopping. He wants to drive the car? Sorry. It’s broken. So much easier on both of us.” —Reddit user 12tips

Buy a special clock

“A ‘dementia clock’ that can be read from across the room. It seemed a comfort for my husband to know the weekday, month, and year without having to ask.” Reddit user seagazer

Make lights and walking easier to manage

“Motion detected lights so they turn on as he gets up and walks. No hunting for light switches. If you don’t have it yet, get a cane and walker. Even if they’re stable now, it will change. At least it has for my mom. She would get confused about what she was supposed to do and hurt her ankle before we realized what was going on.” — Reddit user Objectsmayappear

Happy grandmother with her adult daughter.

Play some tunes

“Nothing made my grandma happier than hearing her favorite songs. They put her in a place where she recognized something. Those smiles are worth a million.” — Reddit user Peteyisthebest

Find a favorite show

“When my dad gets in those restless pull-everything-off-the-counter moods, I’ve started putting on America’s Funniest Home Videos, and it buys me a little time. There’s no verbal comprehension required, and no story line to follow. It’s nice to see him laughing at people falling down and at animals being cute. Hope this helps someone else.” — Reddit user hedonismal

Do you care for someone with Alzheimer’s and have some tips to share? We’d love to hear your advice in the comments section below! Then click here for 8 Ridiculous Myths People Believe About Alzheimer’s.

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Elizabeth Nelson is a wordsmith, an alumna of Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, a four-leaf-clover finder, and a grammar connoisseur. She has lived in west Michigan since age four but loves to travel to new (and old) places. In her free time, she. . . wait, what’s free time?