Taking care of a senior loved one who has Alzheimer’s can be challenging, but there are a few steps you can take to make this process as stress-free as possible. With a solid plan in place and a little bit of assistance, you’ll be able to provide world-class care and boost your loved one’s quality of life.
Don’t Ignore Any Symptoms
When a loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, family members are often in denial, which can hinder the quality of caregiving. If your loved one has been diagnosed with this disease, you must keep track of all symptoms so they can be properly treated. Ignoring or downplaying a symptom is only going to make your job much more difficult in the coming years.
One of the most important things to consider is whether and when to hire a professional caregiver for your loved one. Families looking for top-rated in-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.
Start a Caregiving Journal
Instead of trying to remember countless details through the day, get into the habit of using a caregiving journal. The journal needs to include basic information, such as what your loved one is eating, his or her demeanor, and any new health complications that have developed. When it comes time to meet with your loved one’s primary doctor or neurologist, this information is going to be invaluable.
There are quite a few reasons seniors with Alzheimer’s need to exercise as often as possible. In addition to boosting physical health, exercising could also delay some of the symptoms of this disease. Even going for a short walk with your loved one every day could have a huge impact on his or her physical and mental health.
Establish a Strict Daily Routine
Routines are very beneficial to seniors with Alzheimer’s, and following the same routine could help you avoid unnecessary confrontations. At the very least, you should try to serve snacks and meals at the same times every day. You’ll also need to establish a strict bedtime routine if your loved one becomes anxious or agitated at night.
A professional caregiver with experience in Alzheimer’s care can provide safety and companionship for your loved one. Families who need help caring for a senior loved one can turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of Philadelphia homecare services. Services available in our customizable care plans include meal prep, mental and social stimulation, assistance with personal hygiene tasks, and much more.
Focus on Nutrition
Studies continue to show a nutrient-dense diet can minimize or delay some of the most common symptoms of Alzheimer’s. If you’re unsure of what type of diet your loved one should be on, you might want to consult with a registered dietitian. For seniors with Alzheimer’s, many experts suggest a plant-based diet filled with fresh produce, whole grains, healthy fats, and lean sources of protein.
Engage Seniors in Stimulating Activities
Keeping your loved one mentally stimulated won’t reverse Alzheimer’s, but it could help with issues such as memory loss and poor judgment. Some of the best activities for seniors with Alzheimer’s include board games, card games, puzzles, and drawing. As the disease progresses, you’ll need to have your loved one transition to easier pastimes, such as looking through old photo albums or singing along to favorite songs.
Keep Aging Adults Socially Active
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, social engagement greatly boosts quality of life while reducing the risk of disability. Volunteering, joining clubs, and visiting with loved ones are all great options for seniors with Alzheimer’s. Many senior centers also host game nights and other fun events specifically for those who have Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.
Being a caregiver for your loved one can be extremely rewarding, but it can also feel overwhelming at times. 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. Philadelphia 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. If your loved one needs professional care, Home Care Assistance is here to help. To hire a compassionate, dedicated caregiver, call us at (215) 645-4663 today.