Alzheimer’s is one of the leading mental health problems in America. As a matter of fact, approximately 1 in 3 seniors across the country pass away with the condition or other forms of dementia. This is true in the Windy City, where reliable Chicago home health care services play an important role in caring for seniors with dementia.
If an elderly family member is suffering from Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia, how exactly can you prepare for his or her care?
One of the earliest stages of dementia involves a loss of, or changes in, the senior’s short term memory, which can manifest in something as simple as forgetting where they left things. Another sign is a difficulty in communicating thoughts and translating them into words, and overt mood changes and clear signs of depression.
Preparing for Dementia Care
In preparing for the elderly’s care, one of the first things you need to determine is the senior’s residence. Many professionals advocate in-home care, so the elderly won’t have to be far from family and friends. You should also consider the financial aspects of his health care, especially when the time comes that the senior could not support himself financially anymore.
An article in Helpguide.com also recommends that you develop a daily routine which can help your suffering loved one handle the toughest times:
- Keep a sense of structure and familiarity. Try to keep consistent daily times for activities such as waking up, mealtimes, bathing, dressing, receiving visitors, and bedtime. Keeping these things at the same time and place can help orientate the person.
- Let the person know what to expect even if you are not sure that he or she completely understands. You can use cues to establish the different times of day. For example, in the morning you can open the curtains to let sunlight in. In the evening, you can put on quiet music to indicate it’s bedtime.
- Involve the person in daily activities as much as they are able. For example, a person may not be able to tie their shoes, but may be able to put clothes in the hamper. Clipping plants outside may not be safe, but the person may be able to weed, plant, or water.
At-home care for a senior with dementia can admittedly be difficult, and could take its toll on family caregivers, physically and emotionally. The help of a reliable Chicago, IL home health care specialist, like one from Comfort Keepers of Chicagoland Area, IL can provide family caregivers the respite they need from the rewarding but challenging task.
(Source: Dementia & Alzheimer’s Care, Helpguide.org)