Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease can be a long, stressful, and very emotional journey. According to a most recent report by the Alzheimer’s Association, there are more than 16 million Americans who serve as unpaid caregivers for people suffering from this ailment. More than half have also been doing this for over four years.
However, the most distressing part of all this is learning how to interact with a loved one whose mental decline results in strange behavior or personality changes. This article discusses five simple tips to help you manage the memory care of your loved one. However, before you get there, here is what you need to know about Alzheimer’s.
What Is Alzheimer’s?
Alzheimer’s is the most common type of dementia in the U.S. This malady is a progressive and irreversible brain disorder that damages memory, thinking skills, and the ability to carry out previously simple tasks.
Memory problems are the first symptoms of Alzheimer’s. However, as the disease worsens, individuals might experience severe symptoms such as mood and behavior changes, disorientation, or deepening confusion.
And contrary to popular belief, Alzheimer’s is not a part of normal aging. Increasing age in seniors 65 and older is just the greatest risk factor for people with Alzheimer’s. According to The Alzheimer’s Association, the disease also affects people younger than 65. Over 5% of the 5 million American citizens with Alzheimer’s have a younger onset.
How to Care for Loved Ones Suffering From Alzheimer’s Disease
At Golden Pond Retirement Community, we understand that Alzheimer’s takes a toll on family caregivers. However, we also understand that prepared and knowledgeable caregivers can make a big difference in overall care and comfort. Use these tips for the best care.
1. Medication Can Help
Like most diseases, Alzheimer’s can be delayed in progress by the use of certain FDA-approved medication. The most important part is to get an early diagnosis for your loved one. This might help delay the progress of the disease by early treatment. Please note that as the disease progresses, you might need to be present to make sure that all the meds are taken.
2. Stay in Touch
Alzheimer’s can leave your loved one feeling lonely or depressed. Staying in constant touch with your loved one is the first step of support.
Remember, Alzheimer’s affects the communication skills of the patient. So, you should prepare yourself to act as an advocate for your loved one while also practicing self-care.
3. Understand More About the Disease
Alzheimer’s is a complicated disease that comes with unique characteristics for different individuals. The deeper you dig into the cause and impact of the disease on individuals, the more informed your care for your loved one will be.
The Alzheimer’s Association is a great resource for everything you need to know about dementia.
4. Help Them Feel Valued
Most Alzheimer’s patients feel that their self-worth is slowly fading as they lose their memory. As a family caregiver, you want to help your loved one to feel valued and respected. Here’s how:
- Dedicate time to chatting
- Always include them in conversations
- Spend time doing what they still enjoy
- Avoid criticism at all costs
5. Talk to the Experts
Taking care of a loved one suffering from Alzheimer’s disease is never easy. Nearly 60% of Alzheimer’s caregivers have a very high rate of emotional stress. That is why professional senior care facilities like Golden Pond are here to help.
Here we understand that even the best home caregivers need an extra hand. This is why we train our staff in memory care to better meet your loved one’s needs. At Golden Pond, we are dedicated to creating a meaningful and safe experience for your loved ones suffering from dementia.
For more information on the memory care services at Golden Pond, contact us today.