While an incredible number of older adults are struggling with the challenges of Alzheimer’s disease, an even greater number of family members are trying to cope with caring for them. Incredibly, nearly 75% of family caretakers are managing their senior loved ones’ dementia care needs on their own, with only 26% seeking professional care assistance. Read more
At times, the greatest lessons in life come from going through them firsthand; yet the information we can discover from those who’ve traveled a similar course before us is priceless. If you are providing care for a loved one with dementia and beginning to feel a bit bogged down in this uncharted territory, the guidelines below might help: Read more
We’ve all encountered helicopter parents, especially when a son or daughter leaves for college. In fact, we could possibly be guilty of hovering a touch too closely ourselves. Learning that appropriate harmony between caring and overstepping our boundaries is not easy. Read more
As soon as the door swings open and your senior loved one wraps you in a warm hug, through the joyous holiday dinner and each timeless family custom, possibilities abound for not simply high quality time together, but also to assess how your parent is truly doing and if any red flags are detected. Read more
Caregiver Plantation FL
Spending time outside of the house with an elder who has dementia can be both frustrating and challenging. If they are in the later stages of the disease, you may have to worry about the elder wandering or displaying abnormal behaviors. While it can be terrifying and possibly embarrassing to even consider going out in public with your loved one, it is something you and the elder should do from time to time.
With these tips from other caregivers, you will be able to take the stress out of public outings with your elderly parent who has dementia.
Be prepared. Whether you are going to be away from the home for a few minutes or a few hours, prepare a tote bag of all of the items that may be needed during the adventure. You may want to include a few pairs of under garments, sunscreen, books or magazines, wipes, and anything else the elder or you may need during the outing.
Do not forget the snacks or water. Dehydration can occur at any time of the year, including winter. Bring plenty of water for your loved one to sip throughout the day to prevent it from happening to them. Also, pack healthy snacks that both you and your loved one can nibble on when starvation strikes.
Know what their poor behavior means. Older adults with dementia are not always able to communicate what they want or need. They may try to get their point across by exhibiting poor behavior. It is nearly impossible to control their behavior, but there are ways you can try to diffuse the situation. Run through a checklist in your head of things they could be trying to communicate. This includes hunger, thirst, fatigue, or pain. You may want to consider attending a dementia support group or taking a class to learn more about what the senior’s behavior could mean.
Brainstorm different explanations. If your loved one begins to act out in public, you will need to know what to say to strangers to explain the behavior. While there may be some people that will not be pleased with your explanation, others will understand your situation much better once you tell them about it.
Staying cooped up in the house all day is not healthy for anyone, including caregivers and seniors with dementia. You may be terrified to take your loved one out, but these tips should make the journey a little bit easier.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Caregiver Services in Plantation FL to provide companionship, compassion and motivation, please contact the caring staff at Responsive Home Care. Call today 954-486-6440.
Home Health Care Tamarac FL
When you first start to notice your loved one having difficulty processing information, it’s scary. The situation can be scary for your elderly loved one, too, because cognitive issues can often mean that she’s about to lose some of her independence.
Talk to Her Doctor Right Away
The first step is to talk with your loved one’s doctor right away. He can run tests to determine just how much your loved one’s cognitive abilities are being affected. Your loved one may have issues due to a health condition, such as Alzheimer’s disease or even depression, or there may be other factors. Starting out at your loved one’s doctor give him a chance to narrow down those causes.
Look at Environmental Causes
Sometimes other factors are at play when your loved one seems to be having cognitive issues. She may not be getting enough nutrition from her food, for instance, which can cause her brain to work in odd ways. If your loved one isn’t getting enough sleep, she may start to experience cognitive issues, too. These environmental causes may be something that you can pick up on yourself or your loved one’s doctor may ask about them.
Stick to the Care Plan
Once you have a plan of action in place from your loved one’s doctor, it’s important to adhere to that plan. In cases where there is an illness, such as depression, your loved one may be prescribed medication. In the case of other causes, such as not enough sleep, your loved one’s doctor may prescribe an exercise plan or changing up your loved one’s sleep hygiene to one that is more effective for her. No matter what, you’ll need to follow the plan in order to start seeing results.
Get Extra Help Now
You may need to go ahead now and start getting extra help, either in the form of other family members or even senior home health care providers. This can especially be the case if your loved one has an illness such as Alzheimer’s disease that is likely to worsen over time. Having extra help in place now will really benefit you as your loved one’s situation worsens.
As your loved one adapts to her new care plan, keep in mind that you may need to adjust it over time to accommodate her changing needs.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Home Health Care Services in Tamarac FL to provide companionship, compassion and motivation, please contact the caring staff at Responsive Home Care. Call today 954-486-6440.
Home Care Tips for Coping with Alzheimer’s
If your elderly loved one has dementia and is refusing to bathe regularly, you may find yourself frustrated by the problem. This is unfortunately common for loved ones who have dementia, but the situation is still resolvable.
Take the Process a Tiny Step at a Time
Sometimes when your loved one is reluctant to take a shower or a bath, it’s the full idea of the process that is scary to her. One way around this is to take the bathing process one small step at a time. You might start with offering to wash her hair or washing her arms. Once you gain some ground, you can try the next tiny step.
Make the Bathroom as Comfortable as Possible
For some elderly loved ones, the bathroom can feel like a sterile, cold place. That can make her even more reluctant to bathe. Consider making some small changes to the bathroom to make it much more comfortable for your loved one. Switch out older towels for fluffy, luxurious towels. Consider using a towel warmer or at least sending the towels through the dryer before bath time. Ask your loved one what would make the room and the experience cozier for her.
Pay Attention to Specific Fears or Objections
Sometimes elderly loved ones who have dementia have very specific fears or reasons that they are reluctant to bathe. Some are afraid of falling, for example. If that’s the case for your loved one, devise solutions that ensure that she won’t fall, such as non-slip rugs, grab rails, and shower chairs. Other elderly loved ones with dementia may fear their reflection in a mirror because it appears to be someone else watching them. Solving that problem could mean removing or covering mirrors in the bathroom until the bath is over.
Enlist the Help of Someone Else
For many elderly loved ones, having a family member bathe them is too embarrassing to contemplate. Your loved one may feel so strongly about this, in fact, that she puts off bathing completely. Having someone else to help her, such as an elder care provider, can be exactly the right solution for your loved one in that case.
Keep track of the days that your loved one has bathed on a calendar so that you can show her if she needs a little more convincing.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Elderly Care Services in Sunrise FL to provide companionship, compassion and motivation, please contact the caring staff at Responsive Home Care. Call today 954-486-6440.
The old adage “you are what you eat” is taken up a notch, thanks to researchers at Chicago’s Rush University Medical Center, who have discovered, at least observationally, that the MIND diet may ward off the effects of Alzheimer’s disease, such as cognitive decline and memory impairment. Including parts of both the Mediterranean and DASH diets, which are aimed at controlling blood pressure and improving heart health, the MIND diet goes a step further to address cognitive issues.
None of the 923 people who participated in the study had been previously diagnosed with any type of dementia. At the end of the 4 ½-year study, those who closely followed the guidelines of the diet were determined to be at a 53% reduced risk of developing Alzheimer’s. And even those who only moderately adhered to the diet had their risk reduced by 35%.
Of particular note, those who ate at least one serving of green vegetables each day had a “dramatic decrease in the rate of cognitive decline…the equivalent of being 11 years younger in age,” according to Dr. Martha Clare Morris, professor of neurological epidemiology at Rush.
With a follow-up study underway, we certainly haven’t heard the last of the potential benefits of the MIND diet. Visit The Wall Street Journal to read the full article.
The difference between Alzheimer’s disease and dementia is confusing for many people. Often, it is assumed that they are just two different words for the same condition. However, that’s not quite the case. In short, Alzheimer’s is a form of dementia, but not all dementia is Alzheimer’s. But does making a distinction between the two even matter when you or a loved one is coping with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia?
Yes and no, according to Paula Spencer Scott, author of Surviving Alzheimer’s: Practical Tips and Soul-Saving Wisdom for Caregivers, in a Huffington Post article. Recently, the diagnostic term “dementia” officially changed to “major neurocognitive disorder,” which may not mean much to the general public and may actually confuse the issue. Scott advises families not to get hung up on the exact name of what your loved one has as care needs are likely to remain the same, regardless of whether it’s Alzheimer’s or dementia. She does urge families, however, to find out what is behind the name of the diagnosis, including symptoms and changes to expect, and to find out what to do about the diagnosis in terms of a care plan.
Read more about the difference between Alzheimer’s and dementia and what it means for your family.
Managing the behavior of a person who has Alzheimer’s or Dementia can be a demanding task. It is important to recall that they are not deliberately being difficult and understanding their situation will lead to better care and comfort for the client. Coping with difficult behavior takes time, effort and patience but having the awareness of the triggers that cause difficult behavior can alleviate stress for both clients and caregivers. There are five main triggers that caregivers need to be aware of when working with Alzheimer’s and Dementia clients.
Causes of Difficult Behavior:
- Inability to Communicate
- Difficulty with Tasks
- Unfamiliar Surroundings
- Loud Noises, Frantic Environment
- Physical Discomfort
Caregivers who are aware of the causes of difficult behavior will be able to understand and guide their clients into a calmer and more soothing environment. In turn, a caregiver must manage the behavior that is presented by the client. Here are some tips to minimize the stress of clients and create a healthier environment for both parties.
Managing the Behavior:
- Take a walk (exercise is one of the best stress relievers)
- Keep noise to a minimum
- Play calm and soothing music at low volume
- Ask general questions about their past
- Do not initiate physical contact during aggressive outbursts
- Do not argue
- Hydrate frequently
Understanding why people with Alzheimer’s or Dementia have difficult behavior may allow you to affect the environment to better suit the care they need and alleviate stress. Getting additional help may also help both your senior loved one and the family caregivers. Contact the home care Broward County experts at Responsive Home Care for more information and resources.