Millions of families across the country are faced with the task of caring for a parent with Alzheimer’s. Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s can be not only very challenging, but also quite heartbreaking as they struggle to retain their precious memories.
As a child of an individual with Alzheimer’s, you know that it is only logical that you provide the best care possible for your parent, as they have cared for you throughout your entire life. In order to do so, there are a few simple tips that you should keep in mind:
- Learn: Scientists and medical professionals are constantly uncovering new information regarding Alzheimer’s, and you should keep yourself abreast of all of their valuable results. By learning as much as you can about the condition, you can learn how to best respond to the symptoms shown by your loved one. You should also do research to know what to expect from the medical condition so that you do not find yourself overwhelmed or surprised down the road.
- Practice Patience: Be patient with your loved one, and learn how to communicate affectively. It is easy to grow frustrated with an individual suffering from advanced Alzheimer’s, but there are strategies that you can implement to make the process easier. You must learn to give your parent more time to think and reason when communicating.
- Take a Break: Give yourself a little space. The last thing you want to do is lose your patience by letting the medical condition rule your life. This is when it is optimal to let a home caregiver take over your responsibilities in order to give your mind and body a chance to recharge and regroup. Your loved one needs you at your best.
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When Should You Seek Home Care?
Many children are hesitant to seek professional home care for their parent with Alzheimer’s; they either do not want to remove the adult’s feeling of independence, or perhaps they feel they should take on all of the responsibilities personally. However, as the condition becomes more serious, you will find that it is necessary for your well being, as well as your parent’s, to seek the aid of professional home care assistance.
In order to understand when to reach out for help, you must monitor the individual as they progress through the stage of Alzheimer’s. While each Alzheimer’s experience is somewhat unique, most individuals with the condition generally experience the same progression.
Stage One: During the first stage of Alzheimer’s, you may not even be aware of any problem whatsoever. There is no noticeable impairment or memory problem.
Stage Two: Mild forgetfulness becomes evident. The individual may begin to experience minor memory lapses, especially in regards to the short term memory. You might notice the person misplacing items or struggling to remember words or names.
Stage Three: At this stage the problems will become much more noticeable to friends, family and colleagues. The problems in stage two worsen, and the individual will find it increasingly difficult to organize thoughts.
Stage Four: The memory problems mentioned in the other stages begin to worsen noticeable. Now, not only short term memories are lost, but long term personal history is forgotten. The problems become so severe, they begin to have an effect on the individual’s personality and behaviors. At this stage, many people become much more withdrawn.
Stage Five: The individual begins to forget major personal details, such as names, phone numbers, and addresses. They might also begin how to complete basic day-to-day activities. This is the stage when you certainly might want to consider supervision and care, as personal safety will become an issue.
Stage Six: At this stage, severe memory impairment becomes evident. Simple everyday tasks such as meal preparation or bathing become difficult. Supervision and monitoring is necessary as the person may begin to feel emotionally lost, confused, and paranoid. Some individuals experience hallucinations or develop behavior problems such as wandering astray and become lost and disoriented. Obviously home care is suggested for these individuals for their own safety.
Stage Seven: This is the final stage of Alzheimer’s, during which the individual will certainly need care and supervision. They will need help with personal hygiene, feeding, and many other basic activities. At this stage, many people lose the control of the muscles required to speak, swallow, or even walk, so advanced medical services may become increasingly crucial.
Alzheimer’s Home Care You Can Trust
As you can see, as your parent progresses through the later stages of Alzheimer’s, it is going to inevitably become too difficult for you to care for all of their needs without support. When the safety and quality of life of the individual comes into question, you should consider enlisting the help of a qualified home care professional.
At Accredited, you will find a home care team with the most experience working with Alzheimer’s throughout all of New Jersey. In order to provide you with the best Alzheimer’s care services possible, we require that all of our staff with continue education and training annually in order to stay up to date regarding all of the latest information pertaining to various medical conditions.
Because each and every individual we care for has special needs, a Registered Nurse first evaluates the situation to develop an effective plan for home care. The home care aides are then given supplemental hands on training exercises in order to learn how to respond appropriately to the various psychological and physical needs of their patients and the emotional needs of the families.