Alzheimer’s disease is a brain disorder that results in the deterioration of a patient’s memory and cognitive functions. While at first, a patient might be able to still live independently, eventually, even this will be a challenge, and the right support will need to be put in place. It’s a disease that can be very distressing for both the patient and their loved ones, and it can be easy to find yourself overwhelmed if you are looking after someone with Alzheimer’s. If you do find yourself in this position, below are some tips to help you manage these challenges a little easier.
Learn as Much as You Can About It
To be as prepared as possible for what is to come, it’s a good idea to do as much research as you can on Alzheimer’s disease. There are many resources online, or you can speak to a specialist for further advice and guidance. This information can help you to feel more comfortable and ready to help your elderly parent or relative navigate the disease, recognize symptoms, and be able to identify key changes that might signify the need for more intensive care.
Look at Memory Care Options
While you might want to care for your parent or relative yourself, or they are even able to live independently at this stage, it’s still a good idea to look into the different memory care options that are available for when you need them. There are day centers for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients that can offer support and some respite for carers, and this might be a more suitable option for you. Alternatively, you can think about moving your parent or relative into an assisted living home with specific memory care services so that they will have access to the right care 24/7. You can look into the cost of memory care and use this research to help you determine which is best for your budget.
This will not always be easy, and you may find yourself getting angry and frustrated at times with your parent or relative or even someone else while you grapple with these emotions. Even though patience might be challenging at times, it is important to try and maintain this as much as possible so that you can find safe solutions that won’t cause you or your parent/relative any more distress.
Practice Good Self-care
Whether you are looking after your elderly relative full time or not, it can still be hard to see them suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. There may be certain interactions that you find particularly upsetting or feel frustrated with. This is why it is important to make sure that you’re being kind to yourself during these times and practicing good self-care. It’s OK to admit that it’s hard for you and that you need to take some time for yourself. There are also support groups for people who are caring for someone with Alzheimer’s or have a loved one with the condition, and you might find it helpful talking to others who are going through the same thing. You could also explore the option of private counseling if you would prefer.
If you have a loved one who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, use these tips to help you care for them and yourself while you’re going through this.