Nov 27, 2017 by Robert Myer
Alzheimer’s disease affects millions of seniors each year and their families. According to doctors nearly 1 in 10 seniors over 65 will develop Alzheimer’s in the US and nearly 50% of seniors over 85 will be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. In the later stages of this disease, older adults may be unable to carry out simple tasks or take care of themselves well enough to live alone. Homecare assistance can help seniors who have Alzheimer’s live safely at home.
Because this month is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month we’ve made this handy guide to give you more information about Alzheimer’s disease. It contains the common warning signs of this conditions as well as tips on how to have a conversation with your senior loved one about this disease.
Memory Loss: The most common and noticeable warning sign of Alzheimer’s disease is memory loss. If your older loved one has trouble recalling names, faces, places, and even the purpose of everyday objects such as a hairbrush or a pair of scissors, there may be something very wrong.
Frequent Misplacement of Items: Although people misplace items all the time, those with Alzheimer’s disease place items in inappropriate places. For example, a senior may place a salt shaker in the bathroom. If you notice this with your older loved one, they may have Alzheimer’s disease.
Depression: Several of the most common symptoms of depression include social withdrawal, a lost interest in hobbies, and strange sleeping patterns. If your senior loved one used to be very social and no longer accepts invitations to spend time with friends and family, they may be depressed and displaying a sign of Alzheimer’s disease.
Poor Judgment: Since dementia has a major effect on reasoning, older adults with Alzheimer’s may demonstrate poor judgment. They may completely neglect personal hygiene, say things that make no sense, or make irrational financial decisions.
Bringing up the topic of Alzheimer’s disease to your older loved one can be very difficult. If you feel it’s time to have “the talk” because it’s time for your loved one to stop driving or doing other tasks it can be helpful to have homecare assistance in place so that your loved one will have help doing the tasks they can’t do anymore. Here are some great tips to ensure the conversation goes as smoothly as possible:
Schedule a Family Meeting: It’s a good idea to schedule a family meeting with you, your loved one, and other family members and close friends. This way, there is a time and a place for the conversation and your senior is surrounded by people they love and trust.
Make Every Effort to Reassure Your Senior: Reassuring an older adult is important when speaking to them about Alzheimer’s disease. You should let them know that you will be there for them to provide support and do whatever is necessary to improve their quality of life.
Allow Your Older Adult to Express Their Feelings: Your senior will likely express feelings of frustration, anger, and disappointment during this conversation. When they do so, be sure to respond with reassurance and love.
Write Up Answers to Potential Questions: You should anticipate the types of questions your older loved one may ask prior to having the conversation. Once you do, write up simple, easy-to-understand answers to these questions so you’ll know how to respond when they are asked.
Avoid Downplaying the Disease: As Alzheimer’s disease progresses, you should be open about the implications of the condition. For example, if they can no longer drive or manage their finances, let them know this and provide them with a solution.
If you need homecare assistance for a senior loved one in Gulfport, MS contact us or call (601) 620-0872 to speak with one of our senior care specialists today to find out more about how a caregiver can help keep your loved one with Alzheimer’s safe and happy at home.