For many senior caregivers, the holidays can be stressful and a reminder of what Alzheimer’s has stolen. Read more for some ideas that can help.
Although Alzheimer’s affects approximately 1 in every 2 families in the U.S., and has been extensively covered in the media, there’s still quite a bit of information about Alzheimer’s that you might not be aware of.
What to do if a loved one resists help?
Unfortunately, using logic doesn’t work in most cases. Sometimes family must stress that the help is for them and their peace of mind, giving them the assurance that the loved one is eating, staying clean, getting exercise and interacting with others. In reality, it’s another set of eyes and ears on the situation to help guide the decision maker about the tough decisions. Sometimes it becomes necessary to bargain/negotiate, “you want to stay at home for as long as possible, right?”
“Well, the only way that can happen is for you to agree to have some help.” Don’t say it, if you don’t mean it, and be willing to follow through on whatever transpires.
In order to find just the right fit, a family may need to try different approaches to service, i.e. short/long days/hrs./male/female caregivers. Also, engage the loved one in designing the scope of service, as well as the Plan of Care (what exactly needs to be done). The Nurse Assessor will compare/contrast the Plan of Care and Service Plan to the Loved One’s ADLs (Activities of Daily Living) and abilities. All of these together should help to determine a positive experience and outcome.
How do you know when it’s time to transition from Home Care to full time skilled nursing care?
Some families make this decision based on their ability to manage the needs of their loved one in the following three areas:
Safety – considering wandering, fall risk, leaving items on the stove (fire hazard), leaving water running (creating flooding), inability to consistently use assistive devices (cane, walker, wheel chair) without supervision
Incontinence – family isn’t willing/able to keep the loved one clean/dry due to urine/bowel incontinence and results in rapid skin breakdown/bed sores/wounds
Disease Symptom Management – Family is often unable to keep loved ones’ symptoms controlled outside of a controlled environment with a strict regimen of medication administration and care management, thus the need for placement.
If you’re caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, Halloween can be exceptionally scary.
The constantly ringing doorbell and children in costumes can be disturbing, confusing and even frightening for someone with any type of dementia including Alzheimer’s. Here are some tips to keep your loved one with safe on Halloween.
Make sure your loved one has company on Halloween
Unfortunately, this is a time that masks are acceptable and a burglary could possibly occur.
Choose fun Halloween decorations—not scary ones
Pumpkins are good. Scary things or items that make noise...not so much.
Eliminate candles and glowing lights
Due to vision changes, avoid shadow casting.
Monitor television viewing closely
There are a lot of disturbing programs on this time of year. The wrong show could leave a lasting impression.
Build your own traditions
Consider doing seasonal crafts, watching a fun (not scary) movie, or looking through old photographs and remembering holidays past. Focus on fun activities and pay close attention to see which Halloween festivities your loved one enjoys.