Alzheimer’s causes cognitive deficits, which can pose challenges for both seniors and their caregivers. Fortunately, there are things you can do to help your aging loved one handle the disease. Here’s a guide to caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease.
Even though most seniors with Alzheimer’s are unable to independently care for themselves, they can still do certain things on their own. Always allow your loved one to do as much as he or she can to maintain independence whenever possible. Failure to do so may result in negative behaviors, such as aggression and combativeness. Allow your loved one to make personal choices, such as selecting his or her clothing in the morning and choosing among healthy foods for meals and snacks. When given choices, your loved one may be less likely to become anxious because he or she feels a sense of control in certain situations.
One of the first things to consider is whether and when to hire a professional caregiver for your loved one. Families looking for top-rated elderly home 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.
Monitor Medication Side Effects
New medications can cause unusual side effects in seniors with Alzheimer’s, including increased confusion, agitation, anxiety, and even wandering. If your loved one develops any of these symptoms after taking medications, call his or her physician. However, don’t discontinue the medication without first getting clearance from the doctor. The physician may discontinue the medication, but if this isn’t possible, he or she may adjust the dosage. Most medication side effects are related to dosage amounts, so when the dose is adjusted, adverse reactions may be less likely to occur. Also, seniors with Alzheimer’s may be more prone to behavioral problems after taking certain medications because of existing neurological issues.
Explain Unfamiliar Procedures
If your loved one has recently been prescribed insulin injections for diabetes or requires wound care, make sure to explain each step before starting the procedure. Seniors with Alzheimer’s disease can become anxious in new or unfamiliar situations or when new treatments or procedures are being introduced. When you explain new procedures, your loved one is less likely to become suspicious and fearful.
A trained Alzheimer’s caregiver can be a wonderful source of information and support for family caregivers. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of in-home care. Montgomery families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet their elderly loved ones’ unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia.
If you’re unable to properly care for your loved one, ask his or her physician for help. Your loved one may need a checkup to rule out medical causes for unusual behaviors. Unmanageable or unusual behavior may be a sign that Alzheimer’s disease is progressing. If this is the case, the doctor can prescribe medication that may slow the disease’s advancement. If you’re still unable to manage your loved one’s care, consider hiring an in-home caregiver so your loved one can get the care and monitoring he or she needs.
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. Montgomery 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. Call us today at (334) 593-3988 to learn about our high-quality in-home care services.