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Alzheimer's and Caregiving
Written By : Stephanie Roberts 
Rating: 4.5/5 (2 votes cast)

Many people say they’ll never put Mom in a nursing home.  This is easy to do when she’s healthy, but if she gets Alzheimer’s disease it becomes much more difficult.

The first thing you need to take into consideration is the safety of your parent.  Thinking “it’s my responsibility” can cause you to try and do too much.  While your intentions are good, this can lead to accidents.  And all too often injury is the first sign a caregiver is in over their head.  Then you try and react to the situation and scramble looking for solutions.  So how can you avoid this trap?  The best thing to do is become proactive and educate yourself about Alzheimer’s disease. 

Ask for help.  Don’t try and do too much by yourself.  An Alzheimer’s patient requires a great deal of care and no one person can do it alone.  Receiving help from others is good for both you and your parent.  Overworking yourself will cause high stress levels and with Alzheimer’s you will need patience.  For example, your Mom may ask the exact same question ten different times – only she will think it’s the first time.  So you can’t get upset.  Communication in general will become more difficult as a person’s ability to express thoughts and emotions becomes harder as the disease progresses.  And there will come a time when it’s simply not possible to provide all the care at home.  So plan ahead.  You’ll want to explore what options exist in your area and these will include: assisted living facilities, nursing homes, and Alzheimer’s special care units.  Visit these facilities to learn about the services provided and the costs of care.  This should be done as far in advance as possible. 

Having a loved one with Alzheimer’s can be difficult both from a caregiver and emotional standpoint.  Always think safety first when determining the course of care and try to anticipate future needs instead of reacting to current ones.  Planning ahead is crucial.  Do what you can for your loved one, but understand you cannot do it all.  I wish you the best of luck.

Copyright © 2011 Stephanie Roberts, SeniorsList.com

 
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