Last updated on December 2nd, 2023 at 12:54 am
The world seems to turn upside down when you learn that your loved one has Alzheimer’s. However, this brain disorder, a type of dementia, has become a common condition among people above 65 years. An estimated 6.5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s. This number is projected to grow to 13.8 million by 2060— shocking, right?
The highest prevalence of Alzheimer’s Disease is estimated in the east and southeastern regions of the U.S., with the highest in Maryland, i.e. 12.9 percent.
The number of people living with Alzheimer’s is also high in Louisiana. According to a new study, around 12.4 percent of adults (approximately 94,700 people) in Louisiana have this brain disorder.
Colorado is another state in the U.S. where the Alzheimer’s population has reached an all-time high, with 76,000 people living with the disease.
Honestly, caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s is an intensely emotional journey. After all, dealing with behavior and personality changes that occur often due to this brain disorder in your loved one isn’t easy.
In this article, we will share a few tips that will come in handy when you care for your family member with Alzheimer’s.
Table of Contents
#1 Educate Yourself About Alzheimer’s
Without adequate knowledge of Alzheimer’s, caring for your family member living with it will be impossible. Alzheimer’s is a progressive condition, which means its symptoms worsen with time.
In the early stages, people with Alzheimer’s are, more or less, able to function independently, which may include tasks like working and driving. However, they may experience memory lapses, like forgetting where their belongings are kept or familiar words.
During the middle stages, the symptoms are more pronounced. People in the middle stages act in unexpected ways, like refusing to take a bath and getting angry or frustrated. Performing routine tasks without assistance may also get challenging.
In the final stages, the symptoms worsen. People lose the ability to control movement and respond to their environment.
Learning about this condition will help you understand how to respond when your family member with Alzheimer’s reacts in an unexpected way. Medical professionals are the best person to talk to in this regard. You should note the changes in your family member’s mood and behavior and discuss them with their doctor. They will guide you in the best possible way.
Irrespective of whether your loved one is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s or the middle stages, educating yourself about it is important.
We say so because Alzheimer’s has become a growing crisis in the U.S., especially in Louisiana. The number of people living with Alzheimer’s in Louisiana is expected to rise to over 110,000 by 2025. As of 2022, in Baton Rouge alone, 14.2 percent of people are above the age of 65.
As many people still do not know about the dos and don’ts of Alzheimer’s care, many in-home care services in Baton Rouge provide qualified caregivers for patients and families. These caregivers not only take care of your loved ones when you’re away, but they also educate family members on the dos and don’ts of Alzheimer’s care.
#2 Make a Daily Care Plan
You should prepare a daily care plan for your loved one because it can help them cope with signs of short-term memory loss. Besides, a daily care plan builds their self-esteem, reinforces a sense of independence, and helps them retain skills for longer than they would otherwise.
A planned day will also benefit you, as you won’t have to spend much time deciding what to do. Instead, you can spend time on activities that stimulate their brain, like making lemonade or building with Legos.
Before you start making a plan, make sure to consider the following:
- Likes, dislikes, abilities, strengths, and interests of your loved one
- Their bedtime and wakeup time
- The times of day they function the best
Thereafter, create a schedule and write it on paper so you don’t forget any medicines or activities. While sticking to a schedule is recommended, be ready to tailor it according to the mood of your loved one.
#3 Ask for Help
Caring for your loved one with Alzheimer’s is hard. Having a helping hand can simplify things and prevent caregiver burnout.
Ask other family members to help your loved one with Alzheimer’s in their daily activities. As the condition progresses, your family member may require professional help.
Always Best Care Senior Services advises people to employ a care aid for their family members with this brain disorder. That’s because they can help them with managing their daily routine. Do not hesitate to outsource care.
You can connect with a home care agency offering senior care services. While respite care can be arranged in a daycare center for your loved one, we advise you to opt for in-home services.
Among the 6.5 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s are thousands of Coloradans. Especially if you live in the city of Denver, Colorado, hiring a caregiver will be the best bet. Most residents in such big cities have a busy lifestyle, so they cannot handle a loved one with Alzheimer’s alone.
A simple search on Google for “best home care agency in Denver” will bring forth several options. You can shortlist the best ones and check reviews online before hiring a professional caregiver for your loved one.
To sum it up, caring for your loved one with Alzheimer’s is challenging. However, with a compassionate approach and the right strategies up your sleeve, it can be rewarding. As caregivers, you should prioritize your loved one’s moods, emotions, and comfort. But prioritize your physical and emotional well-being, too. Otherwise, you’ll experience burnout.
While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s, your love and support can make a significant difference in your loved one’s quality of life.