Nov 27, 2017 by Comfort Keepers of Mobile, AL
In honor of National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month, Comfort Keepers of Mobile is sharing senior care tips on all things related to Alzheimer’s disease. Find out more about the common warning signs of this condition, as well as advice on how to have a conversation with your senior loved one about this disease.
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia and can slowly deteriorate a senior’s memory and critical thinking skills. In the later stages of this disease, older adults may be unable to carry out simple tasks like bathing, toileting, and preparing meals. Senior care can help seniors who are struggling with personal care and other tasks.
Memory Loss: The most common and noticeable warning sign of Alzheimer’s disease is memory loss. If your older loved one has trouble recalling names, faces, places, and even the purpose of everyday objects such as a hairbrush or a pair of scissors, there may be something very wrong.
Depression: Several of the most common symptoms of depression include social withdrawal, a lost interest in hobbies, and strange sleeping patterns. If your senior loved one used to be very social and no longer accepts invitations to spend time with friends and family, they may be depressed and displaying a sign of Alzheimer’s disease.
Frequent Misplacement of Items: Although people misplace items all the time, those with Alzheimer’s disease place items in inappropriate places. For example, a senior may place a salt shaker in the bathroom. If you notice this with your older loved one, they may have Alzheimer’s disease.
Poor Judgment: Since dementia has a major effect on reasoning, older adults with Alzheimer’s may demonstrate poor judgment. They may completely neglect personal hygiene, say things that make no sense, or make irrational financial decisions.
Bringing up the topic of Alzheimer’s disease to your older loved one can be very difficult. Regardless of whether you need to tell them that they need to move, stop driving, or opt for home care services, you are likely worried about how they will react.
Here are some great tips to ensure the conversation goes as smoothly as possible:
Schedule a Family Meeting: It’s a good idea to schedule a family meeting with you, your loved one, and other family members and close friends. This way, there is a time and a place for the conversation and your senior is surrounded by people they love and trust.
Write Up Answers to Potential Questions: Seniors will have a lot of questions about Alzheimer’s. It’s a smart idea to have some of the most frequently asked questions and the answers to those questions written down or printed out for your senior to read. This will help them process all the information you’re giving them.
Allow Your Older Adult to Express Their Feelings: Your senior will likely express feelings of frustration, anger, and disappointment during this conversation. When they do so, be sure to respond with reassurance and love.
Make Every Effort to Reassure Your Senior: Hearing that need to stop driving, or that they need to have senior care in order to live independently can be difficult for seniors. You should do whatever you can to reassure them that you will work with them to make sure they are safe and comfortable.
Avoid Downplaying the Disease: As Alzheimer’s disease progresses, you should be open about the implications of the condition. For example, if they can no longer drive or manage their finances, let them know this and provide them with a solution.
If your senior loved one in Mobile, AL needs extra help and support to mange the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, or if you are in need of respite care services, contact us or call (251) 255-5174 to speak with one of our home support specialists today to find out more about senior care and how we can help.