Research indicates that seniors living with cognitive impairment enjoy overall better health when they’re able to remain at home. As such, thousands of individuals across the country assume the caregiving role for an older loved one with Alzheimer’s. Here’s what you need to know if you’re just starting out.
Once your loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, you need to learn all you can about the disease. Familiarize yourself with the symptoms that may appear as the neuron damage progresses. You must also understand that some of the symptoms may or may not manifest in your loved one. The rate of progression is different among older adults. Learn about the medications and treatments used in attempts to slow the progression. Keep abreast of new discoveries and treatments.
Hold a family meeting and determine how other family members might be able to assist with caring for your parent. Some might run errands, while others might be willing to take your loved one to appointments, help with finances, or spend a day or more with your loved one so you can take a break. Consider joining a support group, which can provide a wealth of information in addition to emotional and mental support.
One of the first things to consider is whether and when to hire a professional caregiver for your loved one. Families looking for top-rated elder care providers can reach out to Home Care Assistance. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones.
Prevent Safety Issues
With Alzheimer’s, various types of memory slowly deteriorate. At some point, seniors with Alzheimer’s may not remember how to get home from locations they’ve frequented hundreds of times. Thus, your loved one shouldn’t go shopping, run errands, or leave the home for any reason without being accompanied by you or another caregiver. Wandering and pacing are quite common during the later stages of the disease. However, logic and reasoning also diminish. For your loved one’s protection, consider installing locks higher on exit doors. Perhaps use some type of alarm system that’s triggered when your parent opens the front door.
Trained Alzheimer’s caregivers can be a wonderful source of information and support for family caregivers. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of Orlando home care families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia.
Expect Visual Disturbances
Alzheimer’s often attacks the center of the brain that processes visual information, causing seniors to have difficulty distinguishing between objects that are similar in color or hue. Dark areas on floors may be perceived as holes and avoided. Seniors’ visual fields may also become smaller, which poses a danger because of the loss of peripheral vision and depth perception. Keep pathways clear and the interior of the home well lit.
Anticipate Negative Behaviors
The visual deficits seniors with Alzheimer’s experience contribute to the condition known as sundowning. This problem occurs in the late afternoon, and it’s theorized that seniors misinterpret visual stimuli, which leads to anxiety, confusion, aggression, or hallucinations. Seniors might also become resistant to care at times. Resist the urge to argue with your loved one. Always offer choices. If your loved one exhibits unusual sadness or anger, try to determine the underlying cause. Your loved one might have a physical need that he or she cannot remember how to express. Use simple questions to determine the core of the problem.
Alzheimer’s can be challenging for seniors to manage without assistance, and it can be just as challenging for families who don’t have experience in providing Alzheimer’s care. Orlando Home Care Assistance provides Alzheimer’s care seniors and their families can depend on. Our proprietary Cognitive Therapeutics Method was designed to help seniors with Alzheimer’s and other memory-related conditions live happier and healthier lives. Reach out to us at Home Care Assistance if you need compassionate, professional care for your loved one. Call one of our friendly Care Managers today at (407) 232-7155.