What the family should expect?
It’s heartbreaking to witness memory slip away from your mom or dad’s mind. Dementia is a devastating disease that not only hurts the person fighting this condition but also for the surrounding people in their lives. It’s more than just a mental illness, there is so much grieving that occurs because even though your loved one is still there in your life, they are going to change in the way they act, remember and interact.
We want to help make that adjustment smooth and comfortable for the whole family and so that’s why we’re here to help.
Here are six steps you can take to deal with this disease for both now and in the future of your loved one:
Do what is still possible while you can still do it.
Options are very important when it comes to an Alzheimer’s Diagnosis. Families should know the facilities that are available to help them in order to make the transition smoother. Making these decisions with a proper support system is important and even empowering. Planning is key when it comes to a disease like this where it takes away that skill overtime. Thus, it’s important to discuss any medical wishes or create living wills and long term plans to be sure that their future is in good hands.
An unfortunate yet common symptom of a dementia diagnosis is depression. It’s so important to continue being active and having an engaging support system. Consider spending more time with your loved ones, attend religious events or even try new hobbies that spark up joy and new interests. If depression intensifies, therapy is significantly beneficial and, if it continues, consider seeing a doctor as they may prescribe antidepressants.
As a caregiver, continue to uplift and encourage and do these activities with them. Support places an essential role when battling depressions, thus it’s so important to stay active in order to uplift their mental health. Continue to ask other family member to get involved and be present in your loved one’s lives.
The more you learn and educate yourself on such topics, the easier it will be to handle difficult situations involving dementia care. With education comes proper safety and good health. The patient and the relatives should be in contact with their health care providers this includes their home health aides, nurses, doctors, therapists, social workers. Getting involved in social support groups regarding dementia and Alzheimer’s care is also very beneficial as it provides another level of support for your family.
Take it easy.
With Alzheimer’s, the memory usually becomes worse and likely the personality of the person is likely to change as well. As a caregiver, note that any sharp or upsetting behavior is not personally directed towards you but rather it is the mental illness. This is an unfortunate disease which will likely change the way the person acts and talks. As a response to their outbursts, be sure that you continue to have patience with them without being forceful back at them because it will not help them think clearer.
In addition to this, be sure to not talk poorly in front of them as it is noted by medical professionals that even in the late stages, they are still able to comprehend that others are talking about them and this can make them irritated.
As a caregiver, take care of yourself.
Let’s be honest, taking care of someone with dementia is in no way easy. So, it’s common to feel so overwhelmed with the workload and even your sleeping schedule may be altered. In order to avoid this and still remain sane, it’s important to have a healthy diet and have a support system. Putting your health first is essential because it is common to suffer from more health problems after becoming a caregiver due to the stress.
Note that guilt is normal. Sometimes the caretaker would fear that something bad will happen when not supervised, but that is why it is important to have a proper community around you. This means making sure that your loved one has a proper home health care agencies readily available or perhaps a neighbor can step in through programs like CDPAP. Be sure to take care of yourself first before you take care of your loved one.
Remember the good times.
Sometimes, it’s a good idea to put on some of their favorite music or view a photo album together to remember the good old days. This is beneficial as it can stimulate their brain to remember.
There can be ups and downs with Alzheimer’s and dementia care, but we at All Heart Home care are here to help your family. For more information on our services, contact us today!