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Tips for Family Caregivers to Take Care of Seniors with Alzheimer’s

What Should Caregivers do in the early stages of Alzheimer's?

Looking after a senior who has Alzheimer’s disease or another kind of dementia may be a time-consuming, demanding, and emotionally draining process. However, you are not alone. Currently, more than 16 million caregivers in the U.S. take care of someone with Alzheimer’s and many more worldwide. Because there is no treatment for Alzheimer’s or dementia at this time, your caregiving actions and support frequently have the most impact on your loved one or senior’s quality of life.

On the other hand, caregiving may also become all-consuming. It is easy to get frustrated and discouraged over time, even by assisting in normal daily activities as your senior’s cognitive, physical, and functional abilities slowly decline, resulting in neglecting your health and well-being. The stress of caregiving can raise your risk of severe health problems, and many dementia carers suffer from depression, high levels of stress, or even fatigue. And virtually all Alzheimer’s or dementia caregivers suffer grief, worry, loneliness, and tiredness at some point. Seeking assistance and support along the journey is not a luxury. It is necessary.

The caregivers and their experience might vary significantly from person to person, just as each patient with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia progresses uniquely. However, several ways might help you as a carer and make your caring experience as enjoyable as it is difficult.

This essay will tell you about Alzheimer’s patients, their difficulties, and what caregivers need to do at every stage.

What are the Challenges of Alzheimer’s Care?

Caring for the elderly with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia can seem like a never-ending cycle of sadness as you see your loved one’s memory fade and skills deteriorate. Alzheimer’s causes people to alter and behave in unexpected ways, which can be uncomfortable or upsetting. These shifts can cause an emotional wallop of uncertainty, irritation, and despair for caregivers and their patients.

As the disease progresses through the phases, your loved one’s requirements will grow, your caregiving and financial duties will become more complicated, and the weariness, stress, and loneliness will become unbearable. At the same time, your loved one’s ability to express gratitude for all of your efforts is dwindling. As a result, caring for others might appear to be a thankless responsibility.

 

What Should Caregivers do in the early stages of Alzheimer’s?

Early in Alzheimer’s disease or another type of dementia, your loved one might not need much caregiving assistance. Instead, your initial duty may be to assist them in coming to grips with their diagnosis, making plans for the future, and being as active, healthy, and involved as possible.

 

Accept the diagnosis

Acknowledging an Alzheimer’s diagnosis may be challenging for family members just as much as it is for the patient. Give enough time to yourself and your senior to comprehend the news, adjust to the new circumstances, and grieve your losses. But don’t allow denial to keep you from obtaining early help.

 

Deal with conflicting emotions

Early signs of Alzheimer’s or dementia can make you or your loved one feel angry, frustrated, disbelief, grief, denial, and fear. Allow your loved ones to vent their emotions and urge them to continue engaging in things that give their lives value and purpose. Find somebody you can confide in to help you deal with your concerns, uncertainties, and grief.

 

Make use of available resources

There are several community and internet tools available to assist you in providing good care on this journey. Begin by looking for the Alzheimer’s Organization in your nation. These organizations offer caregivers and their families practical assistance, helplines, counseling, and training. They can also engage with you with local support services.

 

Learn about your senior’s Alzheimer’s

While everybody’s experience with Alzheimer’s or dementia is unique, the more you know about the illness and how it’s likely to evolve, the more you’ll be able to plan for future problems, decrease frustration, and nurture reasonable expectations. There are also books, conferences, and online training options to help you learn how to care for others.

 

Prepare for the road ahead

Your seniors may be able to keep their dignity and live by themselves in the early stages of Alzheimer’s with your help or a caregiver’s help. However, due to their cognitive and physical decline, they will eventually demand round-the-clock assistance. Making arrangements for their future home and care can help avoid future stress, allow your loved one to participate in decision-making, and guarantee that their legal, financial, and healthcare requests are respected.

 

What Should Caregivers do in the middle stages of Alzheimer’s?

As your senior’s Alzheimer’s disease or symptoms worsen, they will demand more care. You, as their caregiver, will require more assistance. Your loved one will progressively lose more memory, get disoriented in familiar places, lose the ability to drive and fail to notice friends and family members. Their uncertainty and meandering speech can make conversing more difficult, and they may have unsettling moods, behavior changes, and sleep issues.

As your senior loses independence, you’ll need to start taking on more duties, give more support with everyday routines, and discover methods to cope with each new problem. Balancing these chores with your other obligations needs focus, strategy, and help.

 

Ask for help

You can’t do it all by yourself. To assist with the everyday load of caring, it is critical to seek out other relatives, friends, or charitable organizations. Schedule numerous pauses throughout the day to explore hobbies and interests while staying on top of your health requirements. This is not neglect or betrayal of your loved one. On the contrary, caregivers who take frequent breaks offer better care and report greater joy in their employment as caregivers.

 

Join a support group

You will be able to benefit from the insight of others who have experienced similar difficulties. Connecting with individuals who understand what you’re going through might also make you feel less isolated, fearful, and hopeless.

 

Value what is possible

Your elder has numerous talents even if they are in the middle stages of Alzheimer’s. Structure activities so that they may participate at every level that is possible. Even on the most challenging days, you may discover joy and satisfaction by recognizing what your elder has to offer.

 

Enhance your emotional awareness

Even the most skilled caretakers may find it difficult to remain involved, focused, and calm in the middle of such enormous responsibilities. However, increasing your emotional awareness may reduce tension, feel happy emotions, and bring new calm and clarity to your caregiving position.

 

Create useful daily routines

Having regular daily routines and activities can assist an Alzheimer’s patient to maintain a feeling of constancy and lessening caregiving obligations. This tip is really deep, so we will dig in a bit.

 

Maintain structure and familiarity

Attempt to maintain consistent daily schedules for tasks including waking up, mealtimes, putting on clothes, having guests, and going to bed. Keeping these items simultaneously and in the location might assist the person with Alzheimer’s in orienting themselves. In addition, use clues to define various times of day, such as opening the curtains in the morning or playing calming music at nighttime.

 

Include your seniors in daily tasks

They may be unable to untie their shoelace, yet they may be able to put things in the trash. Although clipping plants in the yard is not safe, they may be able to plant weeds or water.

 

Diversify your activities to excite their senses

Try singing songs, telling tales, dancing, strolling, or engaging in tactile hobbies, including painting, gardening, or interacting with pets.

 

Spend time outdoors

A drive, a visit to a park, or a brief stroll may all be quite beneficial. Even simply sitting outside may be rejuvenating.

 

Find group activities

Participate in activities created exclusively for those suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia. These activities are frequently held in assisted living facilities, community centers, or eldercare facilities.

 

Plan visitors and social events

Attend events when the elder is most capable of handling them. Intense activity or excitement at the wrong time of day might be overwhelming. If guests are unsure how to communicate, provide communication advice or recommend they bring mementos your loved one would enjoy, such as beloved books or music.

 

What Should Caregivers do in the last stages of Alzheimer’s?

As Alzheimer’s progresses, your senior will most certainly need 24-hour care. They may be unable to move or do personal care, have difficulties eating, be susceptible to illnesses, and be unable to voice their requirements. Incontinence, mood swings, hallucinations, and confusion are also prevalent.

As a caretaker, you’ll most likely be juggling these new responsibilities, dealing with agonizing sentiments of grief and loss, and making tough end-of-life decisions. You could feel relieved that your loved one’s lengthy battle ends or remorse that you’ve failed as a caretaker. Allow yourself time to adapt, mourn your losses, and acquire acceptance, just like you would at any other step of your caregiving experience.

You may no longer be able to provide all the care your loved one requires alone in the later stages when demands on your time are so great. If the patient needs total assistance, you may not be strong enough to handle routine activities such as bathing, dressing, or turning. If you cannot comfort them as much as you would like, you may feel hopeless. Such people may need to be moved into a medical or custodial facility where they can receive both care and medical attention.

Palliative care and hospice are other options. While some institutions offer hospice care on-site, it is most often delivered in the patient’s own home. Throughout their final months, your loved one enjoys the comfort of their familiar surroundings, surrounded by family and friends. At the same time, the hospice care team ensures that they receive the best possible care.

 

Assistance in Daily Activities for Alzheimer’s Patients in Las Vegas

A Health and Care Professional Network can provide Assistance with Daily Activities for a family member if they live in Las Vegas. Since 2006, we have been providing home care services in Las Vegas. For further info or to get assistance, please contact us at (702) 871-9917.

You can learn more about other Home Assist services.

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