Caregiving is never easy, but caring for an aging parent with Alzheimer’s comes with unique complications. Alzheimer’s can lead to alterations in behavior, mood, and capabilities, and caregivers should be prepared to handle these changes. Here are a few tips for providing care to a senior with Alzheimer’s.
1. Create a Soothing Living Space
As Alzheimer’s progresses, seniors are often frustrated by their changing circumstances. When tasks they used to perform with ease become challenging, they may become angry, depressed, or agitated. Because frustration becomes more frequent as the disease worsens, every Alzheimer’s caregiver should know how to soothe their senior loved one. Caregivers should also try to prevent agitation in the first place. Every senior is different, but most adults with Alzheimer’s can be soothed by calm, quiet environments. When you want your loved one to focus, get rid of unnecessary distractions. These distractions could be auditory, like the sound of a television or radio, or they could be visual, like excess clutter or clashing patterns. Create a calm, quiet environment to minimize frustration.
Managing the daily needs of a loved one with Alzheimer’s can be exhausting. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of elderly home care Denver, CO, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
2. Make the Home Environment Safe
For seniors with Alzheimer’s, a soothing environment may not be enough. To prevent accidents and injuries, you should also take measures to promote your loved one’s safety. Seniors are more likely to slip and fall if their walking paths are obstructed. Make sure your parent’s living environment is clutter-free. Get rid of extension cords, unsecured rugs, and other potential tripping hazards. You may also want to reduce access to potentially harmful substances, devices, and tools. Many family caregivers install locks throughout the house to prevent their loved ones from stumbling upon dangerous items.
3. Use the Right Words
It can be challenging to communicate with seniors with Alzheimer’s. They often have difficulty parsing complex sentences or multistep instructions. To broach the communication divide, adopt certain speech patterns and styles. To help your loved one follow instructions, give them one step at a time. If you want your parent to answer a question, try to phrase it in “yes or no” format, as this makes it easier to respond.
4. Adopt a Schedule
Seniors with Alzheimer’s respond well to daily schedules. While the condition affects many parts of the brain, it leaves the area responsible for learning and following routines comparatively untouched, which means seniors with Alzheimer’s can remember a basic schedule, even as they start to lose memory and communicative skills. Their daily schedule can be a source of familiarity when they’re frustrated or confused. A consistent schedule may also promote healthy sleep and diet and reduce sundowning.
The days, weeks, and months following an Alzheimer’s diagnosis can be challenging for both seniors and their families. However, these challenges can be made less stressful with the help of caregivers trained in professional Alzheimer’s care. Denver Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one enjoy the golden years while simultaneously managing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s.
5. Don’t Argue
Alzheimer’s caregivers should strive to see the world from their loved one’s perspective. As the condition progresses, seniors might become increasingly disconnected from reason and logic. When your parent says something factually inaccurate, don’t try to correct him or her using conventional methods of persuasion. Instead, try to understand your loved one’s point of view and make sure your response is motivated by empathy.
Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Denver Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care. To hire a caregiver for your loved one, contact us today at (720) 443-3371.