A Care Guide for Alzheimer's Caregivers

Guidelines for Alzheimer’s Family Caregivers

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Thousands of people assume the responsibility of caring for older loved ones living with Alzheimer’s. As the disease process progresses, the task becomes more challenging. However, learning about the disorder in advance and accepting help along the way can make caregiving less stressful. There are many aspects of Alzheimer’s family caregivers should prepare for.

Early Stages

In the early stages, your loved one may simply seem more forgetful than normal. Posting reminder notes may prove helpful. Consider labeling cupboard doors and drawers to make it easier for your loved one to find what he or she needs in the kitchen. A simple notebook with step-by-step instructions can enable your parent to make coffee or simple meals. Throughout the duration of the disease, you and other family members must remember to respect and support your loved one.

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 senior home 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.

Safety Concerns

As seniors with Alzheimer’s start to have memory lapses, safety becomes a concern. Initially, seniors may venture from home unaccompanied to run errands. However, they may not recognize where they are or how to return home. As the disorder progresses, your loved one may attempt to wander outdoors unsupervised. Install alarms on exit doors or place locks high up on doors so your loved one can’t reach them. A motion detector in the bedroom or on the bed can alert you if your loved one wakes up during the night.

Visual Disturbances

At some point, aging adults with Alzheimer’s often have difficulty with depth perception. They fail to comprehend the height difference between stairs. When outdoors, seniors might easily stumble and fall when stepping up or down from curbs. On the other hand, if flooring has two contrasting colors, the darker color is perceived as being at a lower level. In the late afternoon, as the sun begins to set, interior lighting changes. The difference often causes behavioral changes known as sundowner’s syndrome. The visual confusion may cause your loved one to become irritable, aggressive, or paranoid. Turning on inside lights may alleviate the problem.

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 at-home care. Chandler 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.

Challenging Behaviors

Seniors with Alzheimer’s may become easily agitated or angry. They may simply be frustrated because they have physical needs but can’t find the words to express them. Simple questions can determine whether your loved one needs to use the bathroom or if he or she is hungry, thirsty, in pain, or merely bored. At times, your parent may refuse bathing, dressing, or other normal daily tasks. Refrain from arguing, as this only exacerbates the problem. Drop the issue for the moment, and then later, try engaging your parent in conversation while gently guiding him or her through the task at hand.

Assistance Requirements

As Alzheimer’s progresses, seniors need more assistance. They may need help getting dressed, going to the bathroom, and bathing. Meals must be prepared for them. In the final stages, they need to be fed. Eventually, they may be unable to get out of bed or stand up from a chair without assistance.

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. Chandler 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. Trust Home Care Assistance to provide high-quality compassionate, professional care for your loved one. If your loved one needs help with the challenges of aging, call one of our compassionate Care Managers today at 480.448.6215.