The journey through Alzheimer’s disease can be compared to navigating a winding road that spans years, riddled with intermittent stops, starts, unexpected twists, and a plethora of unknowns. As the dedicated caregiver for an individual grappling with dementia, having foresight about what to expect around the next bend is paramount. This knowledge empowers you to not only be well-prepared but also to administer the most fitting and compassionate level of care in the final stage of Alzheimer’s.
Alzheimer’s, being a highly individualized experience, manifests uniquely in each person. Yet there are certain commonalities at every stage of the disease. When an individual transitions into the last stage, discernible challenges emerge, including struggles with eating … Read More »
Minerals, vitamins, and supplements – oh my! Nearly three in four older adults are taking them; but are they really needed as we get older? After all, a balanced and healthy diet offers older adults essential nutrients. But there are specific areas of deficiency that may make a case for the addition of a supplement. Make sure to talk with the doctor before making any changes, but with their recommendation or approval, consider the following important vitamins for older adults:
Aging bones are susceptible to breaks and fractures when calcium intake is inadequate. This is especially true for post-menopausal women, with a full 50% of those over age 50 breaking a bone because of osteoporosis. However, men are also in … Read More »
“You can make it, but it’s easier if you don’t have to do it alone.” – Betty Ford
As a family member caring for a loved one with dementia, you know firsthand how challenging it can be. It’s definitely never a role that Alzheimer’s caregivers should try to fill on their own. Yet, many caregivers struggle with seeking the support they need, intensifying stress and leaving minimal room for self-care, a vital aspect for those in caregiving roles.
See if you can relate to these top reasons given by family caregivers for attempting to provide care solo, and why they need to be reconsidered:
Dad would not want another … Read More »
Trusting someone you love to the care of someone else is never easy, particularly for a senior family member. Whether at home or in a facility, you’ll have questions you need answered. You will also want to be ready to advocate for an aging parent to proactively address any potential problems and also to quickly take care of issues that do take place.
For instance, review the following common situations and how to most effectively advocate should they arise with an older adult you love:
The person has dementia. A loved one with Alzheimer’s might not be able to effectively communicate their wishes and needs. As an example, a new caregiver may not realize that Dad wears inserts in his shoes and she may put his shoes on each day without them. Dad may not know how to communicate this … Read More »
Dreaming of that perfect vacation while listening to friends and family share tales of exciting getaways? The desire to travel and escape reality for a little while is universal, but when you are caring for an older loved one, it might seem like an unattainable luxury. However, taking a break is not just possible; it’s crucial for both your well-being and the well-being of your older family member.
Why Taking a Break Matters
Neglecting self-care can lead to burnout and depression, ultimately affecting the quality of care you provide. So how can you step away and know that the individual you’re caring for will remain safe and well while you’re gone?
These tips are a great place to start:
Talk About It. Initiating a conversation with the older adult about your upcoming break is a crucial step. Transparency builds trust … Read More »
Many of today’s older adults grew up during the Great Depression. They lived through a time when the country was cutting corners and pinching pennies. Frugality was embedded in many of them at an early age and quite often remains firmly in place for life.
So what can you do when an older adult refuses to pay for care, even though they clearly are in need of care at home and have the financial ability to pay for the care?
First, empathize. Understand that the person’s perspective is valid and determined by past life experiences. If the older adult seems to be resistant to the idea of spending money for the care they need, remind yourself of the emotions behind the behaviors. An additional layer of difficulty may be in simply accepting the need for care altogether, something that … Read More »
Memory loss and dementia may seem synonymous. Yet it’s crucial to understand that long-term memory frequently remains intact long into the progression of the disease. For this reason, tapping into those distant memories is a good way to help an older adult with Alzheimer’s stay engaged in current conversations by connecting to the past. Reminiscing in dementia can help older adults:
Better connect to others through sharing stories
Instill self-confidence by bringing to mind the numerous accomplishments they have made as well as the lives they’ve impacted
Minimize some of the adverse effects of Alzheimer’s, such as restlessness, wandering, agitation, and more
Reduce negative emotions and stress by shifting the focus to happier times
Reminiscing in dementia, also known as reminiscence therapy, doesn’t have to be elaborate. Begin by cracking open a photo album and simply looking at pictures together. Then let … Read More »