Providing care for older adults with serious medical conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease is often an overwhelming job. The neurological condition causes seniors to gradually lose their self-control, thinking skills, and ability to function. If you’re going to be a caregiver for a senior loved one with Alzheimer’s disease, it’s important to learn the following five things.
1. Don’t Take Things Personally
Alzheimer’s caregivers often have to battle with feelings of frustration, loneliness, and neglect. It’s important to take a step back and remember it’s the disease making your loved one act ungrateful or rude. Try to remind yourself that your loved one is just confused, and anything he or she does is not meant to be a personal attack.
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 Fort Myers, FL, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
2. Discover the Importance of Caring for Yourself
When you first start caregiving, it’s easy to get consumed with helping your loved one. However, Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive medical condition. To be helpful to your loved one, you need to take care of yourself and prevent caregiver burnout. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, and try to take time off to focus on yourself every now and then.
If you are the primary caregiver for a senior loved one in Fort Myers, respite care is available when you need time away from your important caregiving duties. At Home Care Assistance, our respite caregivers are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help your loved one manage everyday tasks in the comfort of home while you have the chance to take a much-needed break.
3. Find Out How to Care for Seniors with Alzheimer’s
Providing care for a senior with Alzheimer’s requires a whole new set of skills. Take the time to research new communication methods like pointing, gesturing, or using flash cards, and learn strategies for preventing your loved one from wandering or hurting him or herself. Plenty of great resources can be found through the internet, the library, and Alzheimer’s caregiver support groups.
4. Know How to Plan for the Future
Talk to your loved one about his or her future medical, financial, and legal needs. Meet with doctors and lawyers to set up healthcare plans and make sure your loved one’s affairs are in order. It’s easy to avoid these things when you are a new caregiver, but it’s necessary to make plans while your loved one can still make decisions independently.
5. Focus on Happiness and Safety
A person with memory impairment may not always be able to remember everything perfectly or communicate effectively. Many caregivers try to force their loved ones to remember past skills, recall the names of old acquaintances, or stop asking the same question over and over. It may be frustrating to see your loved one’s health decrease, but don’t focus on fixing irreversible symptoms. Instead, avoid judging unusual behavior, and spend your time making sure your loved one is happy, safe, and free of pain.
Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Fort Myers Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care. Call one of our professional Care Managers at 239.449.4701 to schedule a free in-home consultation.