Caring for Someone with Alzheimer’s: 4 Helpful Tips
Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease can present challenges if a caregiver is not prepared to make changes in their communication strategy and care plan, based on behavior changes. Here are 4 helpful tips that we have learned over the years.
Providing quality care to a senior loved one is challenging, it becomes even more challenging when they are suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than 6 million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer’s disease, and the number is projected to increase year over year. For those who don't know, Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease that causes loss of memory and mental functions over time. It truly is a devastating disease and can present a challenge for family caregivers wanting to provide their loved one with the best possible care at home.
One of the biggest concerns for seniors suffering from Alzheimer’s disease is safety. Alzheimer's has been shown to increase the risk of a fall and a fall can be devastating to the overall health of a senior. In fact, Alzheimer’s is one of the number one causes of falls because as the disease progresses it can lead to vision, perception, and balance issues.
For those providing care to a senior suffering from Alzheimer's, hope is not lost. There are still safeguards that can be put into place to reduce the risk of injury, keep seniors engaged and independent, at home. Here are 4 helpful tips for those taking this journey.
Enlist the Help of an In-Home Care Agency
Taking care of a senior who is suffering from Alzheimer’s may require some extra support from a senior care agency, like Comfort Keepers. Comfort Keepers has helped many family caregivers provide quality and compassionate in-home care support to seniors in Logansport, IN, and the surrounding area. Partnering with an in-home care agency can ensure that a senior is provided with adequate care, their home is safe, and that a family caregiver is able to practice self-care.
Evaluate Environment for Risks
A senior's home can be dangerous to their wellbeing if appropriate steps are not taken to protect them from risks. Unfortunately, the dangers increase when a senior is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease because the disease can progress to cause vision, perception, and memory issues, often leading to unsafe conditions. If a senior suffering from Alzheimer's or another form of Dementia wants to live at home, it is crucial that their home is checked and evaluated for risks.
A few of the top risks include:
- Clutter can cause falls
- Fire hazards
- Medication Issues
Comfort Keepers provides services to keep seniors safe in the comfort of their own homes.
Keep Communication Calm
It is key to stay calm when communicating with a senior suffering from Alzheimer's. When messages are not registering, it is easy for family caregivers to get upset and lose their composure. Losing composure can quickly lead to bad decision-making and dilute the quality of care being provided. For caregivers who struggle to remain calm, it may be time to utilize the assistance of a senior care provider to help reduce stress and provide high-quality support.
Self Care is Necessary
For family caregivers taking care of a senior suffering from Alzheimer's, self-care is critical. Family caregivers cannot provide effective quality care to a loved one without first taking care of themselves and their obligations at home. Without practicing self-care, a caregiver can quickly burn out and risk harm to themself and the senior in their care.