23 Nov Caring for a Person With Alzheimer’s? Keep These 3 Important Things in Mind
For people over the age of 65, the lifetime probability of being disabled in at least two daily activities or being impaired cognitively is 68%. Dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease (which accounts for 60%-80% of all dementia conditions), is far too common with elders. For those struggling with dementia, it’s important that the right elderly care is offered. Whether it’s home healthcare, frequent visits with healthcare providers, or living in a senior community, taking care of elders with dementia and Alzheimer’s is an absolute must.
If you love someone who’s experiencing memory loss, however, you need to provide more than just proper healthcare assistance. Trust, respect, encouraging words, and plenty of patience are all necessary aspects of caring for someone with Alzheimer’s. Here are a few things to remember about caring for someone who is affected by dementia disease:
Early Stages Can Seem Normal, But They Can Change
An Alzheimer’s diagnosis usually occurs only after years of symptoms. During the early stages, patients and their families might notice a few changes, but this is not a disease that comes on quickly. You may see a sudden decline in your loved one’s memory and capacity for independent living at some stage, or the diagnosis may come as the result of numerous small issues and incidents.
Address problems as they come up, if possible. If your loved one has trouble remembering to take medication, for example, set alarms for them and organize the medication in clearly labeled containers. If it’s housekeeping or household chores that are suffering, have family members pitch in or hire a part-time aide to do laundry, take out the trash, and do grocery shopping.
Alzheimer’s Patients are Aware of Their Symptoms
One of the biggest mistakes in caring for someone struggling with these memory loss diseases is believing that they are unaware of their problems. Although patients might begin to forget important things, they are usually aware of their memory problems. It’s important to empathize with the frustration your loved ones are constantly feeling. Work with them to implement solutions, rather than imposing strict new rules upon them, and help to foster a sense of independence as often as you can.
Don’t Isolate Them
Whether your aging loved one is just starting to experience memory loss or has received a diagnosis, it’s crucial for them to continue their social lives and contact with friends and family. The worst thing you could do at any stage is to leave them cooped up inside; as long as they’re able, help them participate in activities, particularly regular meetups with friends or traditional events. These ties to their past will help their minds stay nimble, and will keep familiar faces from fading.
To learn more about in-home care for struggling Alzheimer’s patients, contact Family Tree In-Home Senior Care today.