It’s painful to learn that a loved one has Alzheimer’s disease, and even more painful if you don’t have the first idea of how to care for him or her. In spite of the hurt you are feeling now, there are a few steps you can take to learn about the disease process and turn yourself into a wonderful caregiver and support system for your loved one.
- Learn about your loved one’s specific needs. You will want to know which stage of the disease process your loved one is in and which treatments are likely to prove the most helpful. You will also want to know if your loved one has any safety risks like which can range from leaving gas stoves unattended to wandering.The best way to get this information is to consult with your loved one’s medical team – doctor, neurologist, psychiatrist, social worker and caregivers. Each team member can add to your understanding of the disease process as well as which communication strategies work with your loved ones and which are less effective.
- Find support in your community. You might, for instance, want to attend a support group, purchase safety items like a Safe Return bracelet or a personal medical alarm, or arrange respite care from a Denver home care agency so that you can take a much-needed break. A few resources that can be a huge help with these sorts of issues are your local Alzheimer’s Association and your state-based Area Agency on Aging.
- Find online support. The Internet is full of information and message boards for caregivers. The Alzheimer’s Associationhas online forums for both caregivers and for people in the early stages of dementia. Another excellent resource is DementiaToday, a compilation of several helpful sites directed specifically at those caring for loved ones with Alzheimer’s.
Make no mistake about it, no one ever said being a caregiver to a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease is easy. With knowledge and support, however, you and your loved ones can make it through this difficult time in your lives.
If you need additional assistance with your caregiving responsibilities and are interested in learning more about local support options, reach out to Home Care Assistance today. Located in Denver, CO, we are a trusted, local home care provider that offers specialized Alzheimer’s care, Call us at 720-443-3371 to learn more about Alzheimer’s care in Denver and schedule a complimentary, no-obligation consultation with one of our experienced Care Managers.