In some cases, the best lessons in life arise through experiencing them firsthand; yet the information we are able to discover from those who have walked an identical journey before us is invaluable. If you’re providing care for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia and becoming a bit weighed down in this uncharted territory, the recommendations below might help:
- A short break could make a significant difference. When your senior loved one is struggling with difficult feelings, such as fear or anger, it’s advisable to stop whatever activity or task she is taking part in, and allow the chance for a break. Change the environment by moving into a different room or outside if weather permits, play some favorite music, take a look at a scrapbook, or mention different birds and flowers. When peace is restored, you can try the task again, oftentimes with measurably better outcomes.
- Stop rationalizing. Looking to establish a point or win a quarrel is rarely useful when communicating with someone with Alzheimer’s. Remind yourself that the individual’s brain functioning is changed, and as long as no harm will be done, allow the older adult to maintain her own personal reality.
- Conquer denial. While it may be human nature to want to deny that there’s a problem, recognizing indications of dementia and pursuing medical help right away is recommended to get the medical care and treatment necessary.
- Check medications. The side effects of various prescription drugs have the ability to cause greater confusion and cognitive problems than the disease itself. Come up with a comprehensive listing of all medications (including over-the-counter ones) and evaluate together with the senior’s physician to confirm that the benefits outweigh any negative effects.
- Take good care of YOU, too. Caregiver burnout and depression are significant concerns for loved ones caring for a senior with dementia. Make certain you’re making plenty of time for self-care, socialization, and activities which you enjoy. Remember that your family member will benefit from having a caregiver who is in good health and refreshed.
- Realize that life can be fulfilling with Alzheimer’s disease. While the person you love is going through some hard changes, it’s valuable to appreciate that life, while different, can certainly still be meaningful and bring joy in spite of the disease. Investigate various kinds of experiences for the senior to boost socialization, boost memory and cognitive functioning, and stay physically active.
Midnight Sun Home Care is always here to offer the help you need to ensure your loved one with dementia will be able to live life to the fullest. Call us at (907) 677-7890 for more information on our highly skilled Alzheimer’s care in Anchorage.