Nov 22, 2017 by Marlin Duncan
Alzheimer’s disease is something that millions of seniors and their families struggle with. The diagnosis can be devastating; although there is not yet a cure, there are things that seniors and families can do to slow down the progression of the disease. Senior care at home from Comfort Keepers of Hazleton, PA can help older adults with daily tasks and help them with activities that can slow down the progress of the dementia.
November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month, so we’ve created this home care guide on all things related to Alzheimer’s disease. Find out more about the common warning signs of this conditions and get tips on how to have a conversation with your senior loved one about this disease.
Memory Loss: The most common and noticeable warning sign of Alzheimer’s disease is memory loss. If your older loved one has trouble recalling names, faces, places, and even the purpose of everyday objects such as a hairbrush or a pair of scissors, there may be something very wrong.
Frequent Misplacement of Items: Although people misplace items all the time, those with Alzheimer’s disease place items in inappropriate places. For example, a senior may place a salt shaker in the bathroom. If you notice this with your older loved one, they may have Alzheimer’s disease.
Depression: Several of the most common symptoms of depression include social withdrawal, a lost interest in hobbies, and strange sleeping patterns. If your senior loved one used to be very social and no longer accepts invitations to spend time with friends and family, they may be depressed and displaying a sign of Alzheimer’s disease.
Poor Judgment: Since dementia has a major effect on reasoning, older adults with Alzheimer’s may demonstrate poor judgment. They may completely neglect personal hygiene, say things that make no sense, or make irrational financial decisions.
Discussing Alzheimer’s disease with your older loved one can be very difficult. Regardless of whether you need to tell them that they need to move, stop driving, or opt for home care services, you are likely worried about how they will react. Here are some great tips to ensure the conversation goes as smoothly as possible:
Schedule a Family Meeting: It’s a good idea to schedule a family meeting with you, your loved one, and other family members and close friends. This way, there is a time and a place for the conversation and your senior is surrounded by people they love and trust. If your senior loved one has a senior care provider it’s smart to have the caregiver present also.
Reassure Your Senior Confused Loved One: Reassuring an older adult is important when speaking to them about Alzheimer’s disease. You should let them know that you will be there for them to provide support and do whatever is necessary to improve their quality of life.
Allow Your Older Adult to Express Their Feelings: Your senior will likely express feelings of frustration, anger, and disappointment during this conversation. When they do so, be sure to respond with reassurance and love.
Write Up Answers to Potential Questions: You should anticipate the types of questions your older loved one may ask prior to having the conversation. Once you do, write up simple, easy-to-understand answers to these questions so you’ll know how to respond when they are asked.
Avoid Downplaying the Disease: As Alzheimer’s disease progresses, you should be open about the implications of the condition. For example, if they can no longer drive or manage their finances, let them know this and provide them with a solution.
If you’re caring for a senior loved one in Hazleton, PA that has dementia, contact us or call (570) 483-8913 today to find out how senior care can help provide the extra support you and your loved one need. Our experienced and compassionate caregivers can provide respite care and other services that will help you and your loved one.