People with Alzheimer’s disease deserve to be treated like everyone else. Although your senior loved one faces some challenges now, there’s no need to change how you act around him or her. However, it does help to remember a few basic care practices to maintain a strong connection with your loved one while meeting his or her needs.
1. Use People-First Language
It’s important to remember your loved one is a person who just happens to have Alzheimer’s. Focus on treating your parent as a complete person rather than a disease. By using your loved one’s name and talking about him or her in terms that go beyond a diagnosis, you help him or her continue to feel valued as a person.
One of the most important things to consider is whether and when to hire a professional caregiver for your loved one. Families looking for top-rated senior care providers can reach out to Home Care Assistance. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones.
2. Continue to Seek Your Loved One’s Opinion
Seniors diagnosed in the early stages of Alzheimer’s often have several years before their judgment is severely impaired. For now, make sure to seek your loved one’s opinion regarding decisions that affect him or her. You can still include your loved one in decisions as he or she experiences the later stages of Alzheimer’s by offering simple options to respond to appropriately.
3. Give Your Loved One Opportunities to Contribute
Your loved one still has many things to contribute to your family and the world around him or her. Plan activities that allow your loved one to help out. Your parent can sweep the floor at home, create cards for soldiers overseas, and even volunteer to play with pets at an animal shelter. Giving your loved one a sense of purpose also preserves his or her abilities.
4. Provide Options to Preserve Your Loved One’s Dignity
Your loved one may have preferences regarding his or her care. For example, your parent may prefer to have a professional caregiver help with bathing and personal hygiene. Try not to be offended when your loved one requests options that uphold his or her dignity. Instead, remember to respect your loved one’s privacy and find ways to provide what he or she needs.
A professional caregiver with experience in Alzheimer’s care can provide safety and companionship for your loved one. Families who need help caring for senior loved ones can turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of Tucson home care. Services available in our customizable care plans include meal prep, mental and social stimulation, assistance with personal hygiene tasks, and much more.
5. Remain Calm in the Face of Challenging Behavior
Your loved one may occasionally lash out during the later stages of the disease, but it can happen at any time. Remember to stay calm during these moments. If necessary, ask another caregiver to step in for a moment while you leave the room and take a few deep breaths.
6. Accept Your Loved One’s Needs Will Change
Treating a senior with Alzheimer’s means adjusting your care strategies to fit his or her changing needs. Everyone goes through the stages of the disease at different rates, and it’s possible your loved one’s symptoms may lead to a need for more one-on-one care.
7. Find Ways to Address Your Loved One’s Limitations
While you want your loved one to be independent, you also need to protect his or her safety. Help in the early stages by finding ways to minimize the risks posed by memory loss. For instance, you can set an alarm to remind your loved one to take medication. Later, you can add professional home care to increase the level of supervision.
Being a caregiver for your loved one can be extremely rewarding, but it can also feel overwhelming at times. Alzheimer’s can be challenging for seniors to manage without assistance, and it can be just as challenging for families who don’t have experience in providing Alzheimer’s care. Tucson Home Care Assistance provides Alzheimer’s care seniors and their families can depend on. Our proprietary Cognitive Therapeutics Method was designed to help seniors with Alzheimer’s and other memory-related conditions live happier and healthier lives. If you need professional home care for your aging loved one, our Care Managers are just a phone call away. Reach out to Home Care Assistance today at (520) 276-6555.