Caring for somebody with dementia can be challenging. This is compounded when a family member is the one stepping up to take care of their parent, spouse, or some other relation. It’s compounded even more when that family member does not have any experience providing support for somebody with dementia, which can include Alzheimer’s.
It’s easy to assume this is going to be okay.
Just because there’s a personal relationship with this elderly individual doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy taking care of them. There are numerous signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. It’s important for a family caregiver to be aware of those potential symptoms.
In the beginning, everything is easier.
Most of family caregivers, whether they’re supporting a loved one diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or some other form of dementia or helping them after a hospital stay, often assume it’s an easy job. That’s because, in the beginning, in most situations, things are easy.
The demand is minimal, the senior is more determined to provide their own care and support, but eventually things change. The more people rely on outside assistance, the more they become dependent on it.
However, Alzheimer’s is different.
This is not like a person recovering from a stroke, heart attack, or major surgery. The symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease are going to grow more significant each passing month and year.
Just because things may be simple enough in the beginning because that elderly family member is physically and mentally capable of tending to most of their own basic care, it’s not going to remain that way forever.
Be prepared for those changes.
As a family caregiver, you need to be prepared for the changes that will occur for somebody dealing with Alzheimer’s or any other form of dementia. Memory loss will become more significant, confusion and anxiety will increase, and the way the disease progresses will often lead to more physical challenges, many of which the senior and their family are unprepared for.
The best thing to do is consider home care support services.
Hiring a home care aide is arguably the best option. It’s even better to consider this early on, while the senior is still physically capable of doing many things for themselves, because that aide can help them develop a routine, can become more familiar to him or her, and that can provide comfort in the future, which can be instrumental at helping them avoid extreme anxiety and even aggressive behaviors.