Caregiver Tips: What to Do if a Senior with Alzheimer’s Needs EMS Assistance

What to Do if a Senior With Alzheimer’s Needs EMS Assistance

Caregiver Pembroke Pines FL

As a family caregiver, you never want to think about your aging parent needing emergency medical assistance. Unfortunately, this is something that happens quite often, particularly among very mature adults. If you are caring for a senior with Alzheimer’s disease, a situation requiring EMS attention could be even more stressful. This makes it essential that you prepare carefully for the potential of needing EMS so that if the situation arises, you can feel more confident and get through it with less stress.

Use these tips to help you prepare for and handle a situation in which a parent with Alzheimer’s disease needs EMS assistance:

  • Post warnings. If your parent is known to have challenging behaviors associated with their Alzheimer’s disease, such as combative behaviors, aggressive behaviors, or wandering, it is important that the EMS personnel know about these challenges. This will help them to better structure their approach to your aging loved one, and can ensure that they use the proper steps to avoid potentially disastrous situations. Consider posting notices on the front door or in a readily visible place in the home that announces these challenges so that the EMS will know immediately even if you do not have the opportunity to tell them.
  • Talk about it. Though your parent is likely to still be confused and upset about the situation, if you have talked about the need for EMS before, it can help to keep the experience less stressful. Talk about situations in which you might need to call for EMS, what would happen, and what your parent could expect. If you do need to call for such assistance, tell your parent that you have done it, why you have done it, and how the situation will likely unfold.
  • Keep the environment calm. The more sensory stimulation that is going on around your parent, the more likely they are to experience stress, anxiety, and increased symptoms. Do what you can to make the environment as calm as possible. This includes turning off the television or radio, getting as many people out of the house as possible, and asking that the EMS speak with lower tones of voice. If your parent does not have hearing challenges, screaming or loud talking will just cause anxiety and even fear. Be an example of calm in your behavior and your attitude toward the situation.
  • Go with them. If your parent needs to be taken away from the situation in an ambulance, insist that you go along with them. Being taken away from you by people who they do not know in a strange vehicle can be a terrifying experience. Having you there will provide a greater sense of security and ensure that you are there to advocate for your parent throughout the experience.
  • Keep them involved. If your parent is cautious, they should be the central focus of the experience. This means that the EMS workers should not talk to you, but rather to your parent as much as possible. You can be there to answer questions and provide information, but you should always make sure that your parent is shown respect and dignity by being spoken to directly about the situation. This will help to reduce anxiety and create a sense of calm and control.

If you or an aging loved one are considering in-home caregiver services to provide companionship, compassion and motivation, please contact the caring staff at Responsive Home Care, the top provider of dementia care in Fort Lauderdale and nearby areas. Call us today at 954-486-6440.