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Important Lessons About Caring for Older Adults with Alzheimer’s

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Caring for a senior loved one living with Alzheimer’s is an overwhelming task. There are many lessons potential caregivers must learn to keep their loved ones well-adjusted and themselves healthy. The Alzheimer’s Association, support groups, and community classes are great resources for information. When first getting started on a caregiving journey, there are a few things to consider.

Educate Yourself

Learn as much as you can about Alzheimer’s. Read about the theories behind how and why the disorder develops. Familiarize yourself with how the abnormal biological processes that affect the brain lead to cognitive impairment, memory loss, and challenging behaviors. Once you have the knowledge firmly ingrained, you can gain a better understanding of what to expect. As more symptoms appear, you will also realize your loved one cannot help how he or she is behaving, feeling, or thinking. 

Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to El Dorado Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.

Resist Arguing

Alzheimer’s causes seniors to lose the ability to reason or think rationally. When your loved one insists on believing something that isn’t true or refuses to perform a particular task, resist the urge to argue. Your loved one can no longer comprehend what may or may not be in his or her best interest or what might cause him or her harm.

Use Diversion

Cognitively impaired individuals often display aggressive or paranoid behaviors in the afternoon, which is known as Sundowner’s syndrome. When unusual behavior occurs, stay calm and try to divert your loved one’s attention elsewhere. Play his or her favorite music or reminisce about the past.

Establish Routines

Seniors with Alzheimer’s often feel more comfortable when they are able to follow daily routines. However, circumstances out of the ordinary tend to increase confusion and may lead to undesired behavior. Some of the tasks to perform at approximately the same time each day include waking, dressing, taking care of personal hygiene, and having meals. Taking medications and toileting should also be performed on specific schedules. Leisure or physical activities should occur on the same days each week. 

For many families, helping their loved ones establish and maintain routines can be time-consuming and challenging. Family caregivers need to care for their own wellbeing. If you are caring for an aging loved one and are feeling overwhelmed, consider hiring a professional caregiver to provide respite care. El Dorado families who want to avoid burnout can turn to Home Care Assistance. One of our professional caregivers can assist your loved one at home while you take a nap, go to work, run errands, or go on vacation.

Engage in Meaningful Activities

Scheduling routine activities that hold your loved one’s attention has several benefits. Going for regular walks or engaging in other forms of physical exercise keeps the cardiovascular system healthy and increases blood circulation. Enhanced blood flow is vital to ensure the brain receives adequate levels of oxygen and nutrients, which aid in preventing the progression of Alzheimer’s. Coloring, drawing, painting, and working on other crafts stimulates many different regions of the brain. Singing, playing a musical instrument, and putting together puzzles are all known to stimulate the brain. In turn, activities encourage memory while providing neurons the chance to form new pathways.

Seek Outside Help

It’s virtually impossible for one caregiver to provide all of the care a senior with Alzheimer’s needs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. An illness may occur, or the need to take care of other personal matters may arise. You run the risk of endangering your own health and wellbeing if you don’t take time for yourself. For these reasons, other family members or professional in-home caregivers must be available to help.

Although it may be challenging to find reliable, highly rated home care, El Dorado, CA, families can turn to Home Care Assistance. Our respite and live-in caregivers are expertly trained to assist seniors with a wide array of important tasks, including cooking, bathing, light housekeeping, and exercise. To schedule a complimentary in-home consultation, call (916) 358-3801 or (530) 409-4411 today.