Taking Care of Someone with Alzheimer’s
Watching your loved one battle a progressively worsening disease can take its toll on you as a caregiver. Their diminishing physical, cognitive, and functional capabilities can become overwhelming, and in some instances, can lead to burnout. Seeking help and support for yourself along the caregiving journey is essential for your wellbeing.
Take stock of the road ahead
Planning is a crucial part of Alzheimer’s care. It involves navigating the stress and grief of the diagnosis and preparing for demanding round-the-clock support.
Use this time to confide and share your feelings of loss, anger, sadness about the diagnosis with your close family and friends. Allow your loved one to voice his concerns about the disease and their fears surrounding the eventual loss of agency and memory. Keep them involved in all the decision-making processes about the care, treatment, and managing their daily affairs.
Learn all you can about Alzheimer’s, its progressive stages, and how it will affect your family dynamics through books, seminars, online, and community resources. Find your local support group through the Alzheimer’s Association for training and advice on caregiving.
Seek specialized help
Accepting that you cannot do it all alone is the first step to managing the challenge of Alzheimer’s caregiving. When you prioritize your health and wellbeing through regular breaks and cultivating hobbies, you will find more satisfaction in your role as a caregiver.
It is advisable to invest in qualified respite care such as in-home help for a few hours every week or an adult day care center near you. The daycare can offer your loved one opportunity to socialize and try out accessible activities.
In-home respite care can be an excellent resource for managing household activities like running errands, housekeeping, taking care of your loved one’s grooming needs, medication reminders, etc.
Create structure and familiarity
As your loved one’s ability to move, remember, and do things starts to deteriorate, it can become increasingly frustrating for them. Creating a daily routine that they can follow with as little assistance as possible will give them structure and familiarity.
For instance, create a consistent schedule for eating, daily activities, sleeping, medications, help them decide on the clothes they wish to wear the next day and lay the pieces in the order they will wear. Allow them to assist you in daily household chores that they can do with ease, like folding some clothes, setting the table, opening, drawing the curtains, etc.
At Affinity, we specialize in 24-hour senior care. Our caregivers are experienced in the unique needs of aging seniors. They can assist with daily tasks such as mobility, medication reminders, eating (including meal prep), exercising, and personal care (grooming and bathing). If you are looking for additional support to meet the changing needs of your family member, please reach out to us at: www.affinityseniorcare.com or call Affinity at 248-363-8430.