Offering care to a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease can be an arduous, harrowing, and deeply emotional process. The recent report from the Alzheimer’s Association disclosed that there are over 16 million Americans who serve as unpaid caregivers for those afflicted by this affliction—over half of them have been doing so for four years or more.
As all-consuming and difficult as it can be, the most daunting aspect of Alzheimer’s is figuring out how to communicate with a beloved person when their cognitive decline manifests in peculiar habits or changes in character. Therefore, this article will offer five straightforward tips for administering your loved one’s memory care. But before we get into those, let us first understand what Alzheimer’s entails.
As the most pervasive form of dementia in America, Alzheimer’s is an insidious and progressive brain disorder that gradually impairs memory, thinking skills, and one’s ability to execute everyday tasks.
Memory decline is usually the first telltale sign of Alzheimer’s, however as the disease progresses, more severe symptoms such as changes in personality and behavior, becoming easily confused or disorientated are likely to be experienced.
Contrary to common misconception, Alzheimer’s is not simply a normal part of aging. While age 65 and above presents the most significant risk factor for developing the disease, according to The Alzheimer’s Association, there are still approximately 5 million American citizens who have younger onset with over 5% being under 65 years old.
At Briarcliffe, we understand that the effect of Alzheimer’s can be daunting on family caregivers. However, if they have the proper knowledge and preparation, these caregivers are capable of making a considerable difference in their loved one’s overall care and comfort. Utilize our top tips here to make sure you equip yourself with all the tools necessary for excellent caregiving!
Well-lit living spaces with cheerful colors, comfortable seating and an absence of clutter can create an environment at home that is more beneficial to someone with mild cognitive impairment. Keep closets and drawers organized, use large labels for every-day items, kitchen cupboards and drawers can also have labels identifying every day use items: Plates, Mugs, Silverware, etc… Child proof type locks can be used for cupboards where cleaning chemicals and other potentially dangerous household items are stored.
An early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s can help to slow the progression of the disease process through FDA-approved medications. Note that as the illness progresses, you may need to be present in order to ensure proper usage of medications. By taking action now and getting a timely diagnosis for your loved one, it could help delay further deterioration from occurring. Find a medical professional who specializes in this type of treatment.
Alzheimer’s can be a desolate and dispiriting experience for your loved one, so it is essential to remain connected with them. However, as the condition affects communication abilities of those affected by it, you must also remember to take care of yourself while advocating on their behalf. By staying in close contact with them, you are providing an invaluable source of support for your beloved friend or family member. At some point, professional care will be needed. By staying in close contact, you will be able to better discern when it’s time.
As Alzheimer’s is a multifaceted disease, having distinct symptoms that differ between individuals, it is essential to become educated about its causes and effects. By delving deeper into this knowledge of dementia– you will be able to understand how to provide better support.
As a family caregiver, you want to give your loved one the assurance that they are still valued and respected even if their memory is slowly slipping away. To make them feel special, here’s what you can do: take time out of your day just to chat with them; show respect by including in conversations; spend quality moments doing activities they enjoy; and above all else, steer clear from criticism.
Caring for a beloved individual afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease is never easy. In fact, 60% of those providing such care are susceptible to significant levels of emotional stress. Fortunately, professional senior facilities like Briarcliffe have the expertise and resources available to provide much-needed support and assistance in this difficult time.
At Briarcliffe, we recognize that even the most capable in-home caregivers need help. That’s why our staff is trained to manage memory care requirements for your loved ones living with dementia. Our foremost intent is to provide a secure and enriching environment for those you love and cherish.
Get in touch with us now to learn more about the memory care services we offer at Briarcliffe.