If you’re here on our website reading our blog, it’s safe to assume that you have a loved one who is in need of some care. There are many reasons why the elderly need home care in their advanced age — at a certain point, the body just starts breaking down, and it’s important to be there for them when it happens.
One of the most heartbreaking and difficult conditions is Alzheimer’s disease, or dementia in general. Dementia is an umbrella term that describes a variety of conditions related to cognitive decline and memory loss. For obvious reasons, this can be a very painful condition to live with, both for the victim and their loved ones. At Wilson Care, our home caregivers are highly experienced in Alzheimer’s Assisted Living, and we’re here to help.
Do you have a loved one who struggles with Alzheimer’s or dementia? We recommend calling Wilson Care for home care services. But in the meantime, there are things you can do at home to make life easier. Here are some tips to remember if you have a loved one with dementia:
One of the most important things is educating yourself as much as possible about Alzheimer’s and dementia. The more you know about it, the better equipped you’ll be to handle it at home. As much as we’re trying to help, just reading a simple blog post like this won’t be enough to educate you about the disease. Seek knowledge and wisdom from authoritative sources. The internet can be a misleading place, so always make sure you’re learning from people who are qualified to teach about Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Develop Predictable Routines
Memory loss can be an oppressive condition to live with — it often strikes at unexpected times, and it can turn the victim’s world upside down. For that reason, it’s essential to create routines. It’s much easier for someone to gain footing of where they are and what they’re doing when it’s something that they do every day. Put them into an unfamiliar situation, and it can be disorienting and stressful when their memory lapses. This can be difficult, especially if your loved one has always been spontaneous in nature, but it’s absolutely critical if you want to avoid stress, anger, and confusion.
Treat Them Like a Normal Person
Dementia and Alzheimer’s can severely change someone, especially in advanced stages. Unfortunately, this can often lead to “special treatment” from friends and family members, and not always in a good way. While dementia and Alzheimer’s memory lapses can strike unexpectedly, it’s important to remember that they’re still who they always were.
One thing that Alzheimer’s patients hate most is being treated like non-person who has lost their sense of individuality. Yes, you should be patient when memory lapses happen, but in all other respects, treat them the same way you always have. Include them in conversations, discuss your favorite movies and hobbies, engage in activities they enjoy, and so on. Memory loss can feel dehumanizing, especially when one’s friends and family stop treating them like a normal person.
Promote Healthy Lifestyle Changes
A cure to Alzheimer’s and dementia has long been a white whale in the medical community. While we’ve made progress in several fronts, a de-facto cure continues to evade us. However, many studies have supported the thesis that positive lifestyle changes can help to mitigate the effects of memory loss. Here are some lifestyle changes that can potentially help to lessen the severity of dementia:
- Challenge the Brain: An active brain is able to put up more of a fight against Alzheimer’s. Did you know that reading books and playing board games has been linked to Alzheimer’s prevention? Check out our list of great board games for the elderly if you want to bring some mental stimulation to the table.
- Maintain a Healthy Diet: There’s virtually no aspect of human health that is unaffected by diet, and dementia is no exception. Eating healthily won’t cure memory loss, but it sure helps a lot more than a sugar-ridden diet of junk food and carbs.
- Sleep Often and Well: Sleep, as well as diet, also plays a tremendous role in physical and mental health. Poor sleeping habits can majorly affect a young healthy person in their prime. For someone with deteriorating cognitive conditions, a lack of sleep is no joke. Help your loved one to get to bed on-time, and maintain a healthy amount of quality sleep, at least 7-8 hours per night.
- Cardiovascular Exercise: Cardiovascular exercises increase blood flow to the brain, which makes it a no-brainer for dementia patients. Obviously, your mileage may vary depending on how old your loved one is, as many elderly folks aren’t exactly spry anymore. A Wilson Care caregiver can give a rundown of viable fitness exercises that your loved one could engage in relative to their health.
- Stay Social: We mentioned above that mental stimulation is critical for dementia and Alzheimer’s patients. Social interaction is key to this. Social interaction provides a different kind of stimulation than games and literature, but it’s engaging and productive for the brain.
Alzheimer’s Assisted Living in Hawaii
There’s one more thing you can do for your loved one, and it’s arguably the most important: — calling Wilson Care for Alzheimer’s Assisted Living services. We offer senior care in a few different varieties. Our primary service is senior home care all throughout Oahu, but we also have a senior living center in Kailua.