Caring for a senior loved one with Alzheimer’s can be challenging and overwhelming. It is important to remember that caring for a senior with dementia requires patience, empathy, and understanding.
You will likely feel like you’re not doing enough to make your loved one comfortable and happy. But it’s not always easy to know how to help. This guide will provide you with some tips and advice on how to best care for your loved one who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
Knowing What To Expect
The first step in caring for a senior with Alzheimer’s is understanding the disease and its complexities. On average, doctors diagnose Alzheimer’s at age 65 or older; however, it can appear as early as in one’s 40s or 50s.
In its earliest stages, those with Alzheimer’s may display memory lapses, become disoriented quickly, or repeat the same actions and questions repeatedly. As time passes, individuals with Alzheimer’s may become more agitated or confused, forget their identity, have difficulty expressing emotions or understanding directions, exhibit aggressive behavior toward others, or wander away from home without purpose.
Although these symptoms vary from person to person and can sometimes be managed using medication and other treatments, it is essential to prepare mentally for the long-term care that could be necessary, depending on the severity of the condition.
Providing Support and Care
Caring for a senior with Alzheimer’s requires providing emotional support and practical help. It is essential to be patient, reassuring, and understanding as your loved one may not always remember or understand things they once did quickly. Reassure them that they are safe and cared for as often as possible.
Try not to focus on the negatives but on positive activities that bring joy or comfort, such as talking about pleasant memories or listening to music together. Engaging in physical activity such as walking can also help manage symptoms of the illness and provide companionship for your loved one.
Seeking Professional Help
It is essential to create an environment where both you and your loved one feel supported during this challenging time by seeking professional help when needed. Many options are available, such as professional hospice care at home that can provide respite care and round-the-clock medical attention.
Additionally, support groups can be a great way to connect with people in similar situations who understand what it means to have a family member living with Alzheimer’s. You can also consider hiring a professional caregiver for additional support in someone’s care.
Understanding Their Emotions
Caring for a senior with Alzheimer’s disease can be an emotional roller coaster. It is also one of the most important things you can do for them. In order to ensure their quality of care, it is essential to understand the emotions your loved one may experience. When seniors are overwhelmed by worry or stress, they might become argumentative or hostile as a coping mechanism.
Other times they may appear frustrated and uncertain when they cannot comprehend what is happening around them. Staying calm, being patient and speaking to your loved one in a compassionate voice are some of the most effective strategies for helping them through any anxious moments.
By taking the time to recognize and communicate what your senior friend is feeling, you have an invaluable opportunity to give comfort and make life more manageable for him or her during these difficult times.
Providing a Safe Space
Caring for a senior with Alzheimer’s Disease can be a daunting experience, but it comes down to providing a safe and comfortable home for them. To do so, it’s important to take proper safety measures such as ensuring that all rails are securely installed in hallways and areas with steps, keeping all exits free of clutter, ensuring ample lighting throughout the house, and having grab bars in showers or tubs.
It’s also important to know where your senior tends to wander off alone and make adjustments, such as using different locks on exit doors. Additionally, because this person is in your care means they need emotional support; be patient, kind, and gentle when providing reassurance and guidance. Ultimately, caring for a senior with Alzheimer’s Disease is not only possible – but it’s also rewarding when done right.
The bottom Line
Caring for a senior loved one who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease can be challenging but also rewarding if done correctly. Your loved one’s final days should be spent in comfort and peace, surrounded by people who love them. With the right information, support services, and patience, you can provide your loved one with the best quality of life possible during this difficult time.