Dementia and Alzheimer’s in the Elderly: How Caregivers Can Cope
Are you caring for an aging loved one with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease? This guide will give you some coping strategies to ensure you get the support you need.
This kind of care can be stressful and difficult. However, you aren’t alone.
While there may be no cure for either condition yet, your support and caregiving can make a huge difference in your patient’s quality of life. But caregiving is time-consuming, and anyone can become overwhelmed by their responsibilities. Over time, you may stop paying attention to your own health and needs. This burden puts you at an increased risk of health issues, including burnout.
So, consider these caregiving tips provided by a senior independent living community in the Niagara Region to make a difference in how you cope with and experience these challenges.
Coping with Caregiving for Seniors with Alzheimer’s or Dementia
Consider these tips to adjust to and live as well as you can while providing care to someone with dementia generally or Alzheimer’s in particular.
Give Yourself Time to Adjust
Receiving the initial diagnosis can be shocking and scary for caregivers as they figure out how to care for their aging loved ones and help them deal with the disease.
However, it’s important to be compassionate and gentle with yourself. Try to feel what you are feeling instead of avoiding or denying it. Be upfront with your friends and family about the diagnosis, too. It will help you determine in whom you can confide.
Adapt Your Environment
A good way to preserve your autonomy and health is to take simple precautions. For instance, you should think of increasing lighting, leaving reminder notes where you need them, developing daily routines, and removing tripping hazards. Items you may use daily, such as keys, should be kept in easily accessible places that you will remember. These will go a long way towards ensuring you remain organized and find things as and when you need them.
Prepare for the Future
With your help and support, your aging loved one may be able to live alone and maintain their independence in the early stages of Alzheimer’s or dementia. However, with time, their physical and cognitive regression will result in them needing around-the-clock help.
As their primary caregiver, it’s vital to put plans in place for their future care and housing to avoid unnecessary stress down the line. The experts at our senior independent living community think it’s best to allow your aging loved one to be involved in the decision-making process. This ensures their healthcare, financial, and legal wishes are respected throughout the process.
When an aging loved one receives a diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, you as a caregiver may feel a range of contradictory emotions. That’s why it’s important to know the right ways to cope with them as well as the situation to ensure both you, and they, receive the support you need. Hopefully, these tips will help you face your challenges, accept things that may come along the way, and continue forward with your life.