Caring for someone who has Alzheimer’s is difficult, especially if you’re not familiar with the effects of the disease. Seniors may start forgetting small details, like where they left their keys, and progress to not recognizing their house number or even the faces of friends and family.
Thankfully, you don’t have to learn all aspects of caregiving as you go. Here are some tips from Alzheimer’s care providers that may prove useful while caring for your loved on:
1. Do Provide Opportunities for Independence
Maintaining a senior’s personal safety is key - especially when he or she has dementia; however, completely removing all opportunities for independence can do more harm than good. While you need to create a safe environment, often involving one-on-one supervision and some limited freedoms, offering little daily choices, like what to eat for breakfast or where to go on a walk together, promotes self-confidence and helps the senior keep a feeling of normalcy.
2. Do the Paperwork
Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease. Once your loved has received this diagnosis, it’s time to take action. Make sure he or she has time with a lawyer to address paperwork, like a will, distribution of assets, and designating a power of attorney. Do this as early as possible to ensure the senior is capable of making such important decisions.
3. Do Include Them in Their Life Plans
Declining memory can be very scary for seniors as they waver from lucid to confused. Maintaining control of even small aspects of a senior’s life can give the person a sense of stability that is crucial while developing memory loss. Consult your loved one on daily tasks, like when he or she would like to go grocery shopping, and larger decisions, such as if he or she be happier in a senior housing community.
4. Don’t Face It Alone
Many people providing Alzheimer’s care feel they are alone in their experience while tending to the needs of seniors who require long-term care. This isolation can be harmful; instead of keeping your victories and frustrations to yourself, join a support group or make friends with other caregivers. These resources offer places to discuss health issues, problems you need assistance with, and even just share your joys for the week.
5. Don’t Hesitate to Reach Out for Professional Help
While you can offer assistance to a loved one with Alzheimer’s, you cannot tackle every aspect of their care. Professionals can handle regular appointments as well as be available for important questions about topics, like medication and mental health.
If you decide you can no longer provide a senior loved one with optimal Alzheimer’s care at home, consider making the move to Village De Memoire in Ville Platte, LA. This state-of-the-art living community promotes senior health and independence through knowledgeable staff and diverse resident services. To find out more about Alzheimer’s care, contact them at (337) 363-5992.