Memory Care: Stage One of Alzheimer’s Disease

memory care calendar

Using a calendar that’s visible helps people with memory issues feel more comfortable

Alzheimer’s Disease typically follows recognizable patterns in its progression. In each of its three stages, there are specific behaviors and symptoms that are considered “normal.” It is helpful to know these stages as a caregiver so you can make the best decisions for the memory care of your loved one.

If your family member is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s Disease, he is in Stage One that typically lasts for two to four years.

Symptoms and how you can help:

  • Time or place disorientation—Avoid arguing and don’t correct your loved one all the time. Offer a gentle reminder of where you are and what is going on.
  • Short-term memory loss—Consider using a board of some sort that shows the day of the week and date. You can place appointment reminders here, too. Also, use this area to keep glasses, keys, and other things used on a daily basis.
  • Lack of energy—Encourage naps each day during appropriate times.
  • Hard time concentrating—Don’t expect the Alzheimer’s patient to focus on a task for longer than 20 minutes.
  • Short tempered, rage, over-reaction, hysteria—Do your best to keep routines. This will help your loved one know exactly what to expect. Also, do not respond to everything, it is the disease talking. Try to stay calm.
  • Depression—Severe depression is experienced by nearly ¾ of those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Watch for depressive behaviors and talk with your family member’s doctor about these behaviors you may witness. It can be helpful to use an anti-depressant to treat the depression.

Helping your loved one with Alzheimer’s Disease can help you, too. For more information on this condition, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Senior Care at Home: Think About the Stairs

Often household injuries occur due to a fall down the stairs. A small slip can result in a broken bone especially for a senior. Many seniors want to stay in their own home so it is necessary for loved ones to make the environment as safe as possible. Since it is typically not possible to remove stairs from an existing home and install ramps here are some other tips to increase safety of stairs.

Railings

Verify existing railings are securely installed. When pulled on they should not wiggle at all. If railings do not exist it is strongly recommended they be installed. It is best to install railings on both sides of the stairs. Also, verify your loved one uses the railings when going up and down the stairs. Use of railings significantly decreases the risk of falls.

senior care at homeClear Clutter

Items left on the stairs are a tripping hazard. Nothing should be left on the stairs at any point. If your loved on likes to put items on the stairs that need to be brought to another floor consider placing an empty basket adjacent to the stairs where they can accumulate items to transport. The key is to not put the basket actually on the stairs but instead adjacent.

Lighting

Stairs need to be well-lit. Sometimes this is an issue with stairs leading to the basement. Consider installing higher wattage bulbs over staircases or add reflective tape to the edge of the steps.

Duplicate Items

It is best for your loved on to walk up and down the stairs without trying to carry items at the same time. This will allow them to have free hands to hold onto the railing. Ask what type of items they typically find they need to carry up and down the stairs. If possible buy duplicates of these items so they have one upstairs and one downstairs eliminating the need to transport the item. For example, if they are carrying a water cup upstairs consider purchasing disposable cups to keep upstairs.

Care at Home

Taking the above steps will help lower the likelihood of a fall. However, you may still worry that your loved one is no longer stable enough to traverse the stairs. This does not mean you need to move your loved one. Instead consider the option of senior care at home. A home care aide can help with light housework, meal planning and preparation, medication reminders and provide companionship for your loved one. In addition a safety assessment can be conducted of the home to identify areas of improvement that will help reduce the risk of injury. For more information about at home care contact us. Endeavor Home Care offers senior care in many Arizona communities including Scottsdale, Phoenix, Sun City, Mesa and more.

Reasons to consider at home senior care

at home senior careTaking care of the elderly can be a tricky business. Naturally, you want to ensure that your senior relatives are getting all the support that they need and deserve as they get older. However, doing it yourself, providing them with personal attention, is all too often simply out of your reach. You have other commitments- jobs, children, friends. Finding the time needed to properly attend to your elderly relatives can be, at times, downright impossible.

On top of that, you might not have the skills needed to give your relatives the care that they deserve. Do you know how to operate a dialysis machine? Administer an injection? Can you tell an ordinary cough from a potentially life-threatening complication? Can you treat bedsores? Do you have the time to learn how to do these things? If not, you may have to admit that you’re simply not capable of giving your elderly relatives the care they deserve.

And that’s saying nothing about how downright disgusting caring for people suffering from dementia or otherwise unable to care for themselves can be. Changing bedpans is an unenviable task.

So, if you’re having problems looking after your parents, grandparents, or other elderly relative, you should admit to yourself that you’re out of your depth and need help. Then, do some research and seek out providers of at home senior care, who will provide much-needed aid and expertise for the people you care for. Both you and they will be glad you did.

For more information, contact us.

Alzheimer’s Caregivers: 7 Ways to Talk About It With Others

Caregivers at home for Alzheimer’s patients face a difficult task not only of taking care of a loved one with Alzheimer’s, but also of having to redefine roles and relationships. A once-independent spouse now needs to accept the fact that they need help. A parent must now be taken care of by the children for whom they’ve provided care all their lives. It is a world that is turning unpredictably upside down for many.

caregiversAlzheimer’s, unfortunately, is one of those “invisible” conditions. If the person looks fine, then they must be fine, right? In fact, sometimes the person with Alzheimer’s may not know that they have been diagnosed with it because even those closest to them are uncomfortable discussing it. However, talking about it is the first step to understanding it and to understanding what you can do to help your loved one. Here are seven ways to talk about it:

1. Be sure the person is aware of it. “You’ve got Alzheimer’s,” is a very blunt way to approach someone, and not the best thing to do for most people. If you are going to be taking care of someone with Alzheimer’s, even if you use a phrase like “memory problems”, be sure they understand that this something that’s going to affect their lives, and that you’ll be there to help.

2. Share the diagnosis. This will help you gain support from others. It also keeps you from feeling like you have to pretend that everything is fine.

3. Talk with your loved one about how to tell others. Close friends and relatives may be told one on one. When former President Ronald Reagan chose to tell others, he did so in the form a written letter.

4. Expect that some people will not believe the diagnosis at first. Especially in its early stages, Alzheimer’s is very hard to notice. Excuses are often offered, such as “Oh, you’re (or he’s or she’s) just getting older.” Instead of trying to force them to see, just accept that they are having a difficult time accepting the diagnosis.

5. Understand that some friends and even family may become very uncomfortable at the idea. They may not know how to respond to it. If some show signs of discomfort, don’t hit them with everything at once. Ease into it a little bit at a time.

6. Let people know that cards, letters, and even visits are welcome. Let them know when good times to visit are. Even mild to moderate Alzheimer’s patients can start to feel shunned by friends and family who won’t come around because they’re unsure if they should.

7. If anyone asks if there’s anything they can do, be ready with a list of suggestions. There’s no need to take this on by yourself, and if you have friends and family willing to lend a hand, accept the offer.

Alzheimer’s is a difficult condition for both the patient and the caregiver. If you can build up a support team of people willing to help, to talk, and to listen, you’ll find you have a lot more options than you may have first thought when it comes to caring for your loved one. Contact us to see how we can help and become part of your support team.