If you are caring for a loved one who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, you know how stressful and emotionally taxing your position can be. Due to its progressive nature, your loved one is going to become more and more dependent on your care, so it’s important you have a strong support network for yourself and other family caregivers. Here is some helpful advice for dealing with this challenging time:
- Know the disease: While most people know what Alzheimer’s disease is in general terms, it’s important for you and your family to understand all the details behind the condition. Speak to your doctor about the various stages of the disease, how it progresses and what symptoms to look for so that you are well prepared for any challenges ahead.
- Join a support group: For many caregivers and their families, a local Alzheimer’s support group allows you to get essential respite, talk about your concerns and receive comfort from people who understand what you are dealing with.
- Research care advice from reputable sources: The National Institute on Aging, a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, has a wide range of dependable resources ready to download from their website. Here, you can get advice on how to cope with your loved one’s changing behaviors (aggression, depression, etc.), every day care, relationships, communication, safety and even legal and financial challenges.
- Establish a routine: Routines are key when caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s, as they help to reduce the potential for confusion and anxiety. Build your schedule around your loved one’s needs, assigning more difficult tasks to when he or she is generally the most calm and focused.
- Don’t take over: It’s easy for caregivers to simply take over rather than stay in an assistant assistive or assistant’s role, but it’s very important to keep your loved one involved in all their activities. To make it easier, give them limited choices to reduce confusion and turn off the TV or radio when undertaking a chore to help reduce distractions and promote focus.
- Give yourself time off: Caregiver burnout is a real risk when looking after a loved one, especially when they become more and more dependent on you to manage daily tasks. If you don’t have other family members to share your role, a reputable respite care service can step in and assist while you get some time off. Alternatively, you can look into high quality memory care and support services from locations like United Methodist Communities at The Shores.
At United Methodist Communities at The Shores, we have developed programs specifically for Alzheimer’s and other dementia residents, which focus on preserving quality of life and independence. Our apartment-style residences are comfortable and equipped with high-tech safety solutions. Our friendly, experienced staff are fully committed to providing your loved one with compassionate care. Each Alzheimer’s care and memory support program is developed to meet individual’s unique needs with the flexibility to accommodate any changes required.
Each resident is encouraged to participate as much or as little in our community as he or she wishes and we offer a wide range of well-structured activities which help your loved one stay active, including gardening, group discussions and fitness activities.
To find out more about our services for Alzheimer’s patients, please contact United Methodist Communities today.