Elderly Care Tips: Alzheimer’s disease is very challenging for a family.
It’s hard on the emotions, and your mom isn’t any happier that her memories are slipping away. There are six elderly care tips you should and shouldn’t do when being an elderly care provider caring for a parent with Alzheimer’s.
You Should Prepare for Interruptions
Your mom’s mood and interests will change without warning. You’re trying to get some work done, but your mom wants to take a walk. This is her fifth walk this morning, and you need her to sit still.
Plan to be interrupted. Your mom’s worsening memory retention makes it hard for her to remember what she’s done from one minute to the next. You have to learn to go with the flow by expecting to be interrupted. If you can’t manage it, hire an elderly care aide to help out on days you have to get work done.
You Shouldn’t Say No
Many people with Alzheimer’s do not respond well to being told “no.” If you do say this, your mom is likely to become angry and agitated, making her difficult to calm down.
Instead of saying “no,” redirect her. She wants to go outside in her shorts and t-shirt in the middle of the winter. Don’t tell her no. Instead, explain that you’ll go outside together as soon as she’s got pants and a coat on.
If that doesn’t work, ask her if she wants a granola bar, banana, or another favorite treat. Distractions like favorite foods usually work wonders at redirecting someone with Alzheimer’s.
You Should Repeat Answers
For the eighth time this hour, your mom asks you what day it is. It may be frustrating to keep answering the same question, but she doesn’t realize she’s asked it before. Don’t point that out. Instead, keep answering her.
Eventually, she may get tired of asking the question and move onto something else. As hard as it may be, just keep answering her questions and don’t point out that she’s already asked you.
You Shouldn’t Argue With Her
No matter how frustrated you are, don’t argue with your mom. She keeps insisting she’s fine and can drive her car. Instead of telling her “no” and arguing, come up with a stall tactic. Try something like, “Sure, as soon as we do this…” As her thoughts move to something else, such as cooking and having breakfast first, she’ll forget that she wanted to drive.
You Should Cherish Every Moment
Cherish every moment, no matter how stressed you feel. Get out old family photo albums and listen to the stories she has to tell. Bake old family recipes together and see if she talks about things she used to make with her parents or grandparents.
Elderly Care Tips: You Shouldn’t Be the Sole Carer
Even if your mom lives with you, you can’t be the only family carer helping her with daily activities of living. You’ll find it hard to handle emotionally and physically. You risk caregiver burnout. Use these elderly care tips to help as you move forward.
Instead, hire respite care services from your local elderly care agency. You get to take breaks while professional caregivers help your mom. Talk to a specialist to learn more.