Expert Advice When Caring for a Loved One with Dementia, Alzheimer's or Lewy Body
A dementia diagnosis for a loved one can change everything. From your vantage, there are a lot of new terms to learn and it can be overwhelming. But you're not alone; people deal with this diagnosis every day and there is a wealth of information available on how you can best help your loved one. These helpful tips from an experienced professional caregiver are only the beginning.
Alzheimer's disease is a disease that affects the brain and is the most common form of dementia. In Alzheimer's, proteins form in the brain, which stop new neural connections from being madeand significantly disrupts short-term memory. It is a progressive disease that will only get more difficult to manage. There is no cure for Alzheimer's, although there are many ways to help a senior with the disease live more comfortably and independently for as long as possible.
Avoid Saying These Things to an Aging Parent Relying on You for Care
Caring for aging parents is a massive undertaking. Not only is the task itself hard, but when your loved one is living with dementia (or any number of conditions that can affect mental health or memory), it can make communication extremely difficult.
Maybe things are starting to change for your aging parent. Whether you expect those changes - or you're just unprepared for how they make us feel - it's important that family caregivers do not make these life changes even harder by saying something insensitive. Because the reality is, your aging parent knows things are changing, too. And because you're only human, anger from frustration can often get the best of you. So it's important to monitor your own behavior to avoid unintentionally hurting your loved one.
Many seniors have lived in their homes for decades.
They're comfortable, used to their surroundings and prefer to stay in an area with which they're familiar.
Unfortunately, this can be challenging if the home doesn't have accommodations for safe senior living. For example, one of the most dangerous rooms in the house for seniors is the bathroom. If the bathroom doesn't have railings, toilets that are the proper height or safe showers, seniors could easily fall without anyone knowing for days. Home renovations for aging in place are crucial for any senior who wants to stay in his or her home long term.
Falls can be dangerous at any age, but mainly for the elderly. They cause injury, hospitalization and more than 27,000 deaths annually. In 2015, the total cost of fall injuries in the US was $50 billion. When it comes to falls, prevention is better than recovery.
Fall risks can be split into two main categories: internal and external risks. Internal risks are related to the senior and his or her physical limitations, and external threats are about the world around the senior, whether inside or outside the home. To indeed mitigate the risk of your loved one falling, you have to fall-proof both the senior and the senior's home.