Nov 27, 2017 by Robert Myer
Alzheimer’s Disease affects millions of seniors each year. Seniors who develop Alzheimer’s over time will lose their memories, cognitive skills, and ability to be on their own. But there are things that seniors and families can do to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s. At home care from an experienced caregiver can help keep seniors with Alzheimer’s safe and give some respite care to family members.
In honor of National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month, we’ve compiled this handy guide on all things related to Alzheimer’s disease. It contains the common warning signs of this conditions as well as tips on how to have a conversation with your senior loved one about this 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.
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. At home care services can help seniors with Alzheimer’s by managing the house and doing household tasks for them.
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.
Bringing up the topic of Alzheimer’s disease to your older loved one can be very difficult. Seniors may not want to accept that there is anything wrong with their behavior and they may avoid facing an Alzheimer’s diagnosis. Remember that your loved one is probably scared and confused. Families can find more useful information about Alzheimer’s Disease here:
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.
Make Every Effort to Reassure Your Senior: 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.
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.
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.
If you have a beloved family member in Jackson, MS who might need at home care services, contact us or call (601) 620-0867 today to find out more about the kinds of services that are available. A compassionate caregiver can make a big difference in the life of a senior with Alzheimer’s Disease.