Nov 27, 2017 by Sandra Hatch
In honor of National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month, Comfort Keepers of Fresno, CA has compiled this home health care guide on all things related to Alzheimer’s disease. Learn more about the common warning signs of this condition, as well as tips on how to have a conversation with your senior loved one about this disease.
Alzheimer’s Disease is something that many older adults will struggle with as they age. The symptoms can appear early on, but because the symptoms often mimic those of aging, it can be hard to tell if the symptoms are due to Alzheimer’s. If your senior loved one starts showing these symptoms they should be evaluated by a doctor.
Poor Judgment: Seniors who have Alzheimer’s may start to show signs of impaired judgement like making poor financial decisions, saying things that are out of character or make no sense, or not dressing appropriately for the weather or going out in bad weather. Home health care providers can be instrumental in helping seniors by documenting episodes of bad judgement, depression or memory loss.
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.
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.
Bringing up the topic of Alzheimer’s disease to your older loved one can be very difficult. Regardless of whether you need to tell them that they need to move, stop driving, or opt for home care services, you are likely worried about how they will react. Here are some great tips to ensure the conversation goes as smoothly as possible:
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.
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 people they love and trust surround your senior.
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.
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 your senior loved one is worried about how they will manage when they can’t drive or take care of themselves talk to them about the benefits of home health care.
Write Up Answers to Potential Questions: You should anticipate the 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. Families can find more useful information about Alzheimer’s disease here:
If you have a senior loved one who suffers from Alzheimer’s in the Fresno, CA area, and you often worry about their safety at home, contact us or call (559) 456-8064 today to find out more about how home health care can help your senior stay safe and comfortable at home.