When a senior loved one receives an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, it can feel like a devastating blow. To further complicate an already difficult situation, family members can suddenly find themselves in the role of caregiver. Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of in-home Alzheimer’s care in Lancaster, offers these tips to help transition from loving family member to instant Alzheimer’s caregiver.
1. Make the home safe.
It’s not uncommon for seniors with Alzheimer’s to wander or forget some basic safety precautions. Consider all the changes you would make if a small child were living in the home, and make those changes after an AD diagnosis. These changes might include special door locks or stove knob covers, locks on cabinets with cleaning supplies, and finding a safe place to hide car keys.
2. Find support groups.
There are many support groups, both privately organized and through the local chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. Connecting with people in a similar situation will keep you mentally and emotionally healthy.
3. Arrange for help.
This is one of the most important things you can do. Family members who suddenly become caregivers can easily feel overwhelmed and quickly forget to take time out themselves. Find a qualified Alzheimer’s caregiver in Lancaster who you can trust to care for your loved one during periods of respite or when you can’t be there.
4. Plan activities.
It’s important to help your loved one feel as independent as possible for as long as possible. Allow your senior loved one to carry on with household chores, taking care of pets, or gardening as long as it’s safe to do so. It’s also important to schedule fun social activities with other seniors and play memory-boosting games.
5. Educate yourself.
It is important to learn all you can about Alzheimer’s. Knowing what to expect will help you cope with behavioral changes and will help you better care for your senior loved one through each stage of AD.
6. Talk with an attorney.
It may not be something anyone wants to deal with, but there are legal issues that need to be taken care of as soon as possible like the power of attorney, a living will, and a living trust. It’s important to get legal matters in order while your loved one can still make decisions for his or her self.
You are not alone in taking care of your senior loved one. There are support groups, online resources, and experienced caregivers, like those at Lancaster Home Care Assistance, who can help. Our caregivers are expertly trained to provide the best care possible to Alzheimer’s patients, and can assist with tasks from transportation to cooking, cleaning to providing companionship. Call a qualified and friendly Care Manager today at (717) 540-4663 to schedule a free in-home consultation.