5 Essential Lessons for Alzheimer’s Caregivers to Learn

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Lessons About Alzheimer's Caregiving You Should Learn in Portland, ME

For Alzheimer’s caregivers, each new day is an opportunity to learn something new. These lessons can be edifying, and the job of Alzheimer’s caregivers is rarely dull. Here are some essential lessons to learn about Alzheimer’s caregiving. 

1. Distinguish between the Disease & the Person

Many seniors with Alzheimer’s exhibit new and unsettling behaviors such as aggression, and it’s only natural to be frustrated by these behavioral patterns. To provide effective care, you need to be able to separate your loved one from the disease. When your loved one acts out, remind yourself that the irrational behavior is a result of Alzheimer’s, not a reflection of his or her character or love for you. 

Alzheimer’s disease is one of the most serious health issues among older adults. If your senior loved one needs help managing an illness or assistance with daily tasks, make sure you choose a top-rated provider of home care service. Align Home Care Services is here to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life in the golden years. From compassionate caregivers who offer mentally stimulating activities to our friendly Care Managers who are available to answer your questions 24 hours a day, we offer a wide array of high-quality at-home care services.

2. Find New Ways to Communicate

Impaired speech is one of the earliest symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, and you may need to develop a new rapport with your loved one that takes communicative issues into account. Try to overcome difficulties by speaking in simple sentences and injecting all statements with positivity. Always adapt to your loved one’s needs instead of forcing him or her to adapt to yours. 

3. Take Each Moment as It Comes

As Alzheimer’s disease progresses, seniors start to lose track of time. One moment, they’re back in their childhood homes asking for their mothers, and then the next, they’ve jumped decades into the future. When your loved one jumps about in time, don’t correct him or her. Corrections can leave seniors feeling chastised or anxious. Instead, try to accommodate your loved one’s lapses in memory. For example, if your parent asks about a long-dead aunt, respond to the query in a soothing manner rather than a strictly informative one. Instead of approaching time lapses with logic, let your loved one live from moment to moment, especially if he or she is having fun. Ask what your loved one remembers about that particular aunt, and you might be surprised by how many old memories your loved one has retained. 

4. Handle the Emotional Complexities of Caregiving

Family caregivers have to address the emotional components of the job, and there are few jobs as emotionally complex as providing care for a loved one with Alzheimer’s. You may cycle through positive and negative emotions on a regular basis, but you shouldn’t judge yourself for your negative reactions. However, it’s crucial to have a healthy outlet for your emotions. Some caregivers find that attending caregiver support groups is cathartic, while others prefer to get rid of anxiety with exercise. 

Seniors living with Alzheimer’s disease aren’t the only ones who can benefit from Alzheimer’s care. Kennebunk families have much to gain as well, especially if they’re the ones currently providing care. Professional Alzheimer’s caregivers can watch over your loved one, giving you the chance to relax, focus on other responsibilities, and prevent burnout.

5. Focus on Your Loved One when All Else Fails

Due to the nature of Alzheimer’s, your loved one’s condition will likely progress. While it’s easy to understand this in theory, it’s also easy to blame yourself as new symptoms emerge. If you start to doubt your caregiving abilities, try to shift focus to your loved one. When you concentrate on your loved one’s behaviors rather than your own negative feelings, it may have positive results. For example, if your loved one starts behaving aggressively, look for behavioral triggers, such as loud noises or an environment that’s too hot or too cold. Identifying such triggers can help you resolve the problem. 

Caring for older adults with Alzheimer’s disease can be a difficult task. Families who need help caring for senior loved ones can turn to Align Home Care, a leading provider of Kennebunk at-home care. Services available in our customizable care plans include meal prep, mental and social stimulation, assistance with personal hygiene tasks, and much more. To learn about our high-quality in-home care options, give us a call at (207) 606-8419 today.


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