During this unprecedented time, many individuals with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) are homebound with their caregivers. How can clinicians help caregivers deal with common dilemmas under stay-at-home orders? We spoke with Marc Agronin, MD, a geriatric psychiatrist and Senior Vice President for Behavioral Health and the Chief Medical Officer for MIND Institute at Miami Jewish Health.
Psychiatric Times: How can clinicians advise caregivers to help them and their loved ones get through this time?
Marc Agronin, MD: In one word—routine. Remind caregivers it is important to have a set routine each day that is predictable, stimulating, and involves regular exercise, fresh air, and sunlight, whether in one’s yard, on a balcony, or within a safe perimeter around the home. They should have a set time to wake up, have meals, listen to music, play games, and have social contact with others, either by phone, video chat, or at a safe social distance.
Everyone in the home should get dressed each morning in daily clothes and attend to one’s hygiene as if it is a regular day. They should make certain to get adequate hydration and healthy meals with fruits and vegetables and enforce a regular bedtime. It is also important to avoid excess time watching the news.