Providing care for a senior loved one with Alzheimer’s can be difficult. For caregivers about to embark on this journey, being prepared is the best way to avoid unnecessary mistakes and frustrations. Here are a few tips for new Alzheimer’s caregivers.
Do Your Homework
Receiving an Alzheimer’s diagnosis can be overwhelming for seniors and their family members. To provide effective care, caregivers need to know as much about the condition as possible. Doing some research may not sound appealing, but it’s essential. Consult with your loved one’s doctor and ask any questions you have about the condition. You may also want to contact local organizations that offer courses for Alzheimer’s caregivers. Family members who feel uncertain about their caregiving role may want to join a support group. These communities provide new caregivers with insight and encouragement.
Families who need help caring for a senior loved one can turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of Anchorage senior care. Services available in our customizable care plans include meal prep, mental and social stimulation, assistance with personal hygiene tasks, and much more.
Learn to Communicate
As Alzheimer’s disease progresses, caregivers need to adapt to their loved one’s communication needs. Seniors with Alzheimer’s may have difficulty understanding conversations and verbalizing their wants and needs. Find new ways to understand your loved one. Use short, easy-to-understand sentences and a soothing tone of voice. When you need to communicate something important, minimize distractions. If the TV or radio is on, your loved one may become overstimulated. Even if you’re in a hurry, resist the urge to interrupt your loved one if he or she speaks slowly. Suggest a word if your loved one is having difficulty, but do it kindly. Your loved one should feel like he or she is being heard.
Help with Daily Tasks
Managing everyday activities can be difficult for seniors with Alzheimer’s. Early on in the caregiving journey, implement a daily schedule. Older adults with Alzheimer’s are often soothed by predictable schedules, and the transition from self-reliance to caregiver assistance may go smoothly if the daily schedule isn’t interrupted. Let your loved one take the lead when possible. When seniors can no longer perform basic daily tasks, it can be demoralizing. Perhaps they can no longer take a shower without assistance, but they may be able to button their own shirt or choose what they want for lunch. Alzheimer’s caregivers need to find a balance between assistance and independence.
Whether your elderly loved one needs part-time assistance with basic household chores or you need a break from your caregiving duties, the Anchorage respite care experts at Home Care Assistance are here to help. All of our respite care services are backed with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we never ask our clients to sign long-term contracts.
Create an Alzheimer’s-Friendly Environment
To promote emotional and physical health, new Alzheimer’s caregivers should make sure the living environment is Alzheimer’s-friendly. Remove potential fall hazards like unsecured rugs, clutter, and extension cords, and take security measures like placing padlocks on cabinets that contain dangerous substances. Creating an Alzheimer’s-friendly environment isn’t just about ensuring physical safety. You should also reduce visual distractions, as they could be disorienting for your loved one. Seniors with Alzheimer’s often have impaired spatial awareness, so caregivers should paint rooms in contrasting colors.
If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of home care Anchorage, AK, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s. To learn about our high-quality in-home care plans, give us a call at (907) 770-0907 today.