An Alzheimer’s diagnosis tends to leave families reeling from the news. While you may be thinking about how sad it is that your senior parent is now living with this disease, you must also remember there’s someone else who is impacted by the news just as much, if not more. Your other parent must now contend with being thrust into a caregiver role with no way to know what to expect. Make sure to use these tips to support your parent as he or she adjusts to caring for a spouse with Alzheimer’s disease.
Be Honest About the New Reality
It’s a natural response to want to gloss over the hardships your loved one might face. However, sugarcoating things only increases the risk of living in denial, and it may even cause your parent to feel as though his or her worries aren’t valid. Be honest with your parent as you learn more about the disease together. Show support and make plans for the future.
A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease can be devastating for the whole family, but you’re not alone. The days, weeks, and months following an Alzheimer’s diagnosis can be challenging for both seniors and their families. However, these challenges can be made less stressful with the help of caregivers trained in professional Alzheimer’s care. Des Moines Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one enjoy the golden years while simultaneously managing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s.
Encourage Talking About Challenges
Older adults sometimes try to hide their challenges from their families. Your loved one may do this out of the desire to protect you from knowing about your other parent’s cognitive decline. He or she may also be afraid of losing independence now that one of them has a serious health diagnosis. Hiding these challenges puts your parent at risk for having more problems, since you may not know when to step in. Let your parent know you need to hear about challenges that arise so you can find solutions together.
Provide Self-Care Reminders
Your caregiving parent may not want to leave your other parent alone because he or she feels obligated to provide constant care. However, self-care is important, and your caregiving parent needs to be reminded of the value of spending a little time away from caregiving duties. This time apart doesn’t have to be long. A short walk around the block or an hour-long lunch with a friend is often all it takes to recharge.
You can also help your parent take a much-needed break from caregiving by arranging for a professional caregiver to take over for a few hours a day or a few days a week. Families looking for top-rated Des Moines 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.
Set Up Safeguards
As your parent who has Alzheimer’s begins to experience memory loss, your other parent becomes more responsible for keeping him or her safe. However, worrying about wandering and medication mishaps may be stressful for your caregiver parent. Find ways to reduce the burden of responsibility your loved one feels about keeping his or her spouse safe from harm. For instance, you can give your parent with Alzheimer’s a wearable device with GPS tracking that sounds an alarm if he or she tries to leave the home.
Offer Professional Services
Your parent may refuse to allow you to take time off from work to help out or fear having to move to a new home with greater amounts of supervision responsibilities. You can calm these concerns by offering your parent the option of choosing the types of professional support needed to age in place. Housekeeping and meal preparation services may take a few things off your loved one’s plate so he or she can focus on relaxing and spending time with his or her spouse.
Being a caregiver for a life partner with Alzheimer’s can be overwhelming, and partners need as much support as they can get. Families looking for top-rated Des Moines at-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. Home Care Assistance will work with you to customize a care plan that’s just right for your loved one’s needs. Call us today at (515) 264-2438 to discuss how we can give you the peace of mind that comes from knowing your loved one is being cared for with professionalism and compassion.