There may come a time in your life, perhaps you are experiencing it now, that you may have to provide Alzheimer’s care to your parent or another loved one. This can be a truly difficult time as well as a time of confusion for you. Knowing how to make that transition into being a caregiver will not be easy, but there is help out there to assist you with the task you are about to undertake.
Why Choose to Be a Caregiver Yourself?
Everyone’s reaction to a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or dementia will be different. Some may immediately seek out the assistance of professionals, be it a facility or home health aid, while others will try to provide the care for their loved one as long as they can. This is a very personal decision and you need to be honest with yourself about what would be best for you and for your parent.
First Steps: Daily Living
Alzheimer’s is a degenerative disease, which means it will worsen with time. This means that the caregiver will need to be ready to move into a more serious role with time, but in the early stages, assistance with everyday life will be the biggest tasks. You will need to be there to supervise your loved one when they are attempting to cook, travel, or any other action that could result in them injuring themselves or others. Remember that major decisions can make an Alzheimer’s patient upset when they are recognizing that they are having difficulties. That is why patience is the most important skill you will need as a caregiver. It has been shown that these patients are sensitive to the energy around them, especially in later stages, which is why you want to always be projecting positive energy.
Moving Forward: When Things Get More Serious
When your loved one moves into more advanced stages, you may be at a loss for how to handle situation, but you are still not quite ready to turn their care over to someone else. There are many resources for home caregivers whom you can utilize that will give you real advice from doctors and other medical professionals who have worked with Alzheimer’s patients.
It can be very painful to watch your loved one slowly slip away to this horrible disease, but remaining as positive as you can throughout their Alzheimer’s care, be it at home or in a facility, is the best thing you can do for yourself and for them.
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Chuck Stevens is a part of an elite team of writers who have contributed to hundreds of blogs and news sites. Follow him @chuckstevens12.