Assisting a senior you love with personal care needs – tasks like taking a bath, getting dressed, and helping with toilet needs – can be uncomfortable for both the senior and yourself. It requires the senior to set modesty aside and allow herself to be vulnerable. And when Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia is added to the mix, the senior’s feelings of distress may become overwhelming, resulting in an outburst.
The exact trigger behind these outbursts can vary from one person to another, but some of the more common reasons are:
Loss of control. A person’s sense of independence can feel as though it’s slipping away in a number of areas for older adults, and trying to remain in control over the most basic functions becomes even more important.
What can help: Help the senior to feel as much in control … Read More »
Picture how it would feel to wake up in an unfamiliar place, unable to remember how you got there or even what your name is. Complete confusion swiftly turns into fear and anger, and you may find yourself lashing out at the stranger standing beside your bed, speaking to you in a soft voice.
This scenario paints a bleak and sadly accurate picture of an Alzheimer’s patient’s reality. Now imagine standing in front of a person you love, and having that person look at you with no recognition whatsoever. Each day your heart breaks a little bit more, but you push through the pain and go on with your caregiving duties for your loved one with Alzheimer’s.
According to the latest report from Alzheimer’s Association, a whopping 17.7 billion hours of care are provided by family caregivers each year to those with … Read More »
Being able to get out of the house and go where we want on a whim is a freedom many of us have long enjoyed and may even take for granted. Driving represents much more than just a daily routine; it symbolizes both competence and independence. And, it can be an incredibly hard activity to give up.
The need for sustained concentration and quick reaction time tends to decline as we age, and for someone with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, this process accelerates dramatically, making it difficult for loved ones to know when it’s time for the senior to stop driving and find alternate transportation options.
The Warning Signs
Because Alzheimer’s disease has an impact on reasoning skills, your loved one may resist the idea of giving up driving, so it’s often up to family caregivers to determine when the … Read More »
When caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease, it’s natural to want to do everything for the person to minimize feelings of frustration – both for your loved one and for yourself. However, it’s in everyone’s best interest for the person with Alzheimer’s to maintain self-worth and dignity by managing tasks as independently as possible. Try these tips to enhance your loved one’s independence:
Allow extra time. Try not to let the issue of time guide the decision on whether or not to take over a task. If your loved one with Alzheimer’s has the ability to perform the task himself, allow the extra time needed and provide encouragement and positive reinforcement along the way.
Break it down. Taking a larger task and separating it into small, simple steps can change it from insurmountable to possible. For example, break down the … Read More »
Understanding the complexities of Alzheimer’s is challenging, to say the least. Since it impacts each person uniquely, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to providing care. However, there are some broad similarities that can be categorized into three stages:
This stage of the disease can last for years.
Your loved one may experience some changes in thinking and learning abilities, which may not be detectable to others without daily contact.
What you can do:
Be a care advocate for your loved one, providing emotional support and encouragement.
Help plan for the future:
Discuss care setting desires (home, assisted living, hospice) and identify care providers.
Research support groups.
Discuss end of life care requests.
Provide memory prompts and personal organization assistance when needed.
Provide assistance with money management or hire a professional to assist.
Establish a regular daily routine.
Help your loved one to stay healthy and engaged in what he or she loves … Read More »
It may start out as subtle little nuances that are barely noticeable – Mom begins experiencing slight memory lapses and forgetfulness, occasionally misplacing the keys or phone – but perhaps there’s enough of a change in her behavior to make you wonder: could it be Alzheimer’s? Here are ten red flags to be on the lookout for: