When an older loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, families become understandably concerned, as the disease is progressive and has no cure. When deciding to become a family caregiver for a senior with Alzheimer’s, you want to provide the best care possible. Here are several tips to consider to ensure you provide your loved one with high-quality care.
1. Learn About Alzheimer’s
Becoming a caregiver for an aging adult living with Alzheimer’s requires preparation. Learn all you can about the disease process, and familiarize yourself with the symptoms that occur during each phase. During the early phases, emotional symptoms may occur because, knowing what the future holds, your loved one is going through the grieving process. The symptoms also occur secondary to brain damage from the disease. Create a plan of action now and for the future.
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 Austin 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.
2. Avoid Arguments
Seniors with Alzheimer’s lose the ability to think logically and rationally. They’re in a different reality. Time, places, and situations no longer have meaning. The thoughts they’re trying to convey simply make no sense. Your loved one may resist care or no longer desire to eat the foods that for years brought him or her joy. Be patient and understanding, and use problem-solving skills to find a solution for each dilemma. Remember, your loved one is still an adult who deserves love and respect.
If you choose to hire a professional caregiver, you should expect him or her to treat your loved one with respect and dignity, too. Although it may be challenging to find reliable, highly rated at-home care, Austin, TX, families can turn to Home Care Assistance. Our respite and live-in caregivers are expertly trained to assist seniors with a wide array of important tasks, including cooking, bathing, light housekeeping, and exercise.
3. Implement Validation Therapy
Realizing that a senior with Alzheimer’s experiences a unique sense of reality requires using a unique approach. Your loved one may insist that he or she must attend an appointment, pick up children from school, or perform some other familiar task from years ago. Ask simple questions to determine your loved one’s current thought process. Relate to his or her state of mind. Your loved one thus feels validated and believed. Say that you changed the appointment or that another family member is taking care of the children.
4. Enhance Your Loved One’s Brain Health
Evaluate your loved one’s diet. Avoid serving processed foods that are rich in fat, salt, and sugar. These substances encourage inflammation, vascular blockages, and other problems the brain doesn’t need. Encourage your loved one to eat lean meats, vegetables, fruits, fish, nuts, and whole grains, and motivate him or her to be physically active as well. Go for walks together, and join in simple exercise routines. Exercise promotes cardiovascular health, which the brain needs. Cognitive stimulation is also important. Reading, doing puzzles, and crafting all stimulate the brain. In turn, neurons develop new pathways of communication.
5. Get Assistance
Caregivers need to take care of personal matters, and they sometimes become ill or simply want a few days off. Allow others to run errands, take care of chores, or prepare meals. Establish a network of helpers to replace you when needed. Other caregivers might include willing family members or friends. In-home care services are another option.
Being a caregiver for a loved one can be extremely rewarding, but it can also feel overwhelming at times. 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. Austin 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. For compassionate, reliable in-home care, trust the experienced professionals from Home Care Assistance. Reach out to one of our dedicated Care Managers today at (512) 623-7800 to learn about the high quality of our in-home care services.