Alzheimer's Caregivers: Tips for World Alzheimer's Month

Sep 13, 2011

EasyLiving participates in many great conversations on Twitter.  Recently, we participated in a chat entitled #talkalz, discussing Alzheimer’s Disease and World Alzheimer’s Awareness Month with a group of caregivers and eldercare professionals.  We enjoy sharing our ideas, experiences and resources as well as being able to learn from others.  Being in the business of caregiving and assisting family caregivers, it is always helpful to hear what those struggling with the disease are experiencing.

To read more about World Alzheimer’s Awareness Month and Alzheimer’s Action Day (September 21st), visit the Alzheimer’s Association page.

We thought it made sense to share some pointers and ideas, both from this recent chat as well as from our years of experience in eldercare:

    • Preparation is so important when dealing with Alzheimer’s Disease in your family.  Do research, find out what kind of help might be needed (and what’s available), and ensure your legal documents and advance directives are completed.  A geriatric care management assessment can be invaluable.

    • Don’t face this alone.  Try to bring together friends, family and other support to work together (our article on creating a care team); consider support groups or online support; find out about respite care options.  Talk to friends and family to explain what is going on but be prepared that they may feel awkward and unsure of what to say or do.
    • When you seek outside help, find out about the preparation and training of staff to work with someone with Alzheimer’s disease/dementia.  How does the home care company train and assist staff in managing behavioral challenges or keeping someone calm during Sundowning?  Does the care facility staff have the time and ability to work closely with your loved one if he/she is upset or agitated?  Does the staff take your advice on what helps?
    • Just as each person is different, each family’s path with dementia will be different.  It may be a very tough road in many ways, but especially emotionally.  But, it will help to talk to others who may have experienced similar things, to bounce ideas and to learn about resources.
    • Persons with dementia still have the basic human needs we all do, and these needs and emotions often manifest as puzzling behaviors.  Remember the need for security, the feeling of home and comfort and the need to be loved and have a purpose.  How can you incorporate those in to the person’s day?  What might he/she be feeling when acting out or trying to leave to reach “home”?

We invite you to join us on any of our social media channels to share your experiences caring for someone with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia.  We also offer monthly Caregiver Tips and several articles in past blog posts om Alzheimer’s Disease (click on the search box for different topics).  Our Director of Operations, Ric Cavanagh, created several videos about Alzheimer’s care that you can find on EasyLiving’s YouTube page.

Contact us at 727-448-0900 if we can help you with Alzheimer’s Specialty Care or any eldercare and home care needs!

Topics: News & Local Resources

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