It may sometimes be a bit intimidating to know what to mention and how to behave when spending some time with a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease. And, sadly, due to a number of inherent elements of the disease, oftentimes family and friends feel so uncomfortable that they avoid going to see the person anymore. Understanding more information on the disease and things to anticipate, and planning ahead about how to best manage challenging behaviors can help.
The chief difficulties family caregivers and friends encounter with their loved one with Alzheimer’s disease fall into one of three categories: changes in behavior, changes in memory and communication ability; and the level of difficulty will probably fluctuate based on the particular stage of the disease the senior is currently experiencing.
To help overcome these challenges while making the visit as enjoyable as you can, Endeavor Home Care’s Alzheimer’s care professionals in Arizona recommend the following approach:
Begin your visit with a smile, and be prepared to re-introduce yourself if needed.
Use very simple language and brief sentences, and talk slowly.
Refrain from arguing with or correcting the senior.
Bring photos from a favorite past memory for reminiscing.
Listen to a number of the person’s favorite tunes together, and maybe even ask him or her to dance!
Taking a walk together if at all possible, or just about any other physical exercise, can make the visit more fun for both of you.
Remain calm during your visit, even when the senior gets agitated or exhibits inappropriate behavior.
Keep a sense of respect during your conversation, understanding the senior may repeat questions and statements.
Reduce distractions in order to give the person your full attention.
Above all, bear in mind who the individual was pre-dementia, and remind the person what she or he did which has inspired you or helped you become the person that you are today.
For additional tips on effective communications with those with Alzheimer’s disease, or for specialized hands-on care assistance, contact the Arizona dementia care team at Endeavor Home Care. Our skilled dementia caregivers are fully trained and experienced in a number of tactics to make sure seniors with Alzheimer’s disease remain secure and safe and are able to live life to the fullest, with the utmost respect and compassion all of the time. Call us at (480) 535-6800 or contact us online for more details.
“It’s just been one of those days,” we sometimes lament, shrugging our shoulders gloomily. After all, sometimes things happen that are entirely out of our control, and some days all of these things seem to happen at the same time and make us wish we had stayed in bed! But the truth is, there are steps we can all take to turn those tough days around and discover purpose and meaning within our various daily challenges and experiences—especially those of us getting older. Read more
“How can you say I have Alzheimer’s disease? There is nothing wrong with me!”
If you’ve ever heard a senior loved one with dementia frustratingly express this or perhaps a very similar sentiment, you might have believed the person was just in denial and not willing to accept a difficult diagnosis. The simple truth is, however, that oftentimes people who have dementia and other conditions are experiencing anosognosia – an unawareness of their impairment. Read more
It is among the more difficult decisions we face in older years, and an extremely delicate subject for adult children to initiate with their elder parents: relinquishing the car keys. Driving ourselves, while supplying an inherent experience of freedom and independence, may become extremely unsafe due to a number of variables linked to getting older. And letting go of that independence for sake of senior driving safety can feel defeating. Read more
Let’s be straightforward: providing care for an aging loved one can be draining, stressful, and isolating. As caregiving requirements progress, especially when a chronic condition such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease is at play, family caregivers could feel that they’re in over their heads, and getting through the standard elements of the day – taking a bath, preparing of food, running errands – can seem to be a barrier too high to leap.
According to Carey Wexler Sherman, a gerontologist at the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research, “Caregiving is done with a lot of love and affection, but there’s a lot of loss involved. People talk about friends disappearing, about even family members not wanting to be involved. It’s a lonely business.”
Because of this, a large number of family caregivers have been found to sequester themselves. It’s tricky to schedule social excursions without knowing what sort of day Mom or Dad will be going through. It’s likewise difficult to invite friends over and face the potential need to cancel plans at the last minute. Sometimes it just seems easier to attempt to deal with everything alone. Senior geriatric social worker at Massachusetts General Hospital, Barbara Moscowitz, shares responses she hears from family members taking care of a senior with dementia: “They say, ‘I’m exhausted trying to explain to people why she’s doing what she’s doing, why they shouldn’t be angry or afraid. It’s just easier to stay home.” It seems seniors get the care they need, but who is caring for the caregiver?
Unfortunately, we know that social isolation and loneliness are connected to serious health risks : heart disease, stroke, depression, and also a greater prevalence of developing dementia or dying prematurely. Caregiver assistance is a must, both for the individual being cared for and the family members providing that care.
Endeavor Home Care provides dedicated home care solutions to families throughout much of Arizona as well as San Diego, CA, and our team is on hand to help in so many ways, through hands-on assistance with all areas regarding elder care, preparing meals, keeping the home tidy, running errands, and so much more – allowing family members much-needed time to themselves to spend with friends and in pleasant, relaxing activities – ensuring the wellbeing of all family members.
Call us at any time for the professional in-home care help you can trust, giving you the ability to attain a healthy life balance while knowing your senior loved one is in the very best hands.
Humans are now living longer than ever because of the progress of science and medicine, resulting in the “sandwich generation” (those caring for both children and aging parents) taking on a new role, that of the boomerang generation.
“Aging together” is the label for seniors whose mom and dad are still living and requiring good care. The result is a wave of seniors uprooting and relocating after retirement to live, once again, in close proximity to their elderly parents. And in many cases, the senior child is being affected by his or her own health conditions, further complicating the dynamics and developing a greater risk for caregiver burnout – on both sides of the equation.
Associate Professor of Gerontology Kathrin Boerner, of the University of MA, clarifies the dilemma: “For a lot of people, that is the time – if you’re in good enough health – you hope for a time of greater freedom. You’re past all the other caregiving tasks and, for most people, they can dedicate time to their own needs. But for those with very old parents, it just doesn’t happen.”
Even though the regenerated connection between older adult children and their aging parents can be good for all involved, such as through exploring shared interests that can be appreciated together, the toll that caregiving usually takes later in life can lead to increased stress levels, depression, and also physical health issues.
Thankfully, there’s a solution to supply the needed care for senior children along with their elderly parents, allowing for both to concentrate specifically on enjoying quality time together: hiring an in-home caregiver from a professional elder care agency like Endeavor Home Care. We can help in several different ways, personalized to each family’s unique circumstances, including such services as:
- Running errands, including buying groceries and picking up medications
- Making healthy and balanced meals
- Assisting with light housework and washing
- Personal care services which include assistance with showering and dressing
- Providing transportation and accompaniment to health care appointments or fun outings
- And much more
Our Sun City caregivers are fully background checked, trained, and knowledgeable in all aspects of caregiving. Leave the mundane tasks to us, and get back to making the most of life with those you love! Contact Endeavor Home Care at (480) 535-6800 to learn more.
The commitment you made to care for your elderly parent probably means a lot to them but it doesn’t mean you have to do all of the caregiving 24/7 every day of the year alone. The most important thing for any caregiver to learn is that to be able to give yourself to take care of others, you have to take care of yourself first. Burnt out caregivers can’t give the same level of care. The stress can make them prone to depression and illness that would leave them unable to care for the ones who depend on them. Caring for a parent is hard work.
Taking a well deserved break from caregiving is not a failure in your commitment to care for your parent like they cared for you. Arranging safe, qualified, respite care on a regular or occasional basis can allow you to balance your parent’s needs with the other parts of your life. Everyone will be happier.
If you’re a member of the sandwich generation, juggling the care of your parents and the care of your dependent children, you may need respite care for your parent for only a few hours at a time while you are busy with your children’s activities or while you take your children on an active vacation that wouldn’t be suitable for a senior. If you don’t yet have children, maybe you need someone experienced in the special needs of caring for seniors so that you and your husband can enjoy an evening alone or a weekend getaway. It’s okay to get help to care for your parent no matter what you plan to do with your free time.
Summer is here, and you may be struggling with the decision of whether to take your elderly loved one on the family vacation. Certainly there are many places that offer services making this possible. It may not, however, be the best choice for either of you. A loved one who has memory loss or dementia will certainly be uncomfortable in unfamiliar surroundings, and he may struggle more. With at home care, you can travel guilt-free knowing your loved one is cared for and attended. Plus, there are several ways to include him in your summer holiday plans.
Of course you will call a few times while you are away. Keep the calls short enough to hold your loved one’s attention but still allow everyone to say hello and give a highlight of the trip to that point. The calls will remind your loved one of where you are and ease any fears that arise when you miss a visit.
Most of us collect souvenirs when we vacation. You might pick up one or two for your loved one, keeping his interests in mind. Unusual rocks or jars of specialty jams are great souvenirs. Take lots of pictures, too. Include family members in each one, not just scenery. When you get home, assemble the souvenirs and photos in a scrapbook. Put them in chronological order and include a simple map with your route marked. It might be nice to put in some tactile things like sand from the beach glued to a card as well.
Then, pick a family night and join your loved one for supper, going over the scrapbook together afterward. If you have visited a place that holds special significance for him, encourage your loved one to reminisce. Be sure to take a photo of all of you together with the scrapbook so that you can include the picture in the book.
While age and debilities may keep us from vacationing together, they should not keep us from celebrating as a family. For more ideas about how to keep your loved one engaged and involved in activities, contact us. We offer more than at-home nursing services. We offer at-home CARE.
Planning for summer vacations can be complicated at times, especially when a person’s list of responsibilities includes caring for an ailing loved one. Think about it. There are many healthcare problems that may prevent a person from being alone for any extended length of time. Examples include people with dementia, paralysis, advance stage cancers and neuromuscular diseases.
So, what are the alternatives to traveling with an ailing loved one whose health would be further compromised by participation in long distance, summer vacations? For many Americans, the answer is respite care. Respite care comes in many forms. Sometimes it is provided by long-term care facilities, which may be traumatic for individuals accustom to living at home.
Other times, services are delivered in the ailing individual’s home, either by the hour or as part of live-in, in-home care. Live-in care is often the preferred method because it allows medically compromised individuals and their families to build relationships with their caregivers. This is a vital part of the respite care process, especially when trust is an issue.
In order for family members to feel safe and comfortable while on vacation, they must be able to trust surrogate caregivers implicitly. And we all know that such a high degree of trust is not achieved instantly. It is built upon over the course of continuous care. Families must also have time to work with live-in, in-home caregivers to ensure that their surrogates fully understand their loved ones needs.
In some instances, respite care includes medical services and other times it does not. Therefore, it may also be necessary for families to hire additional staff to help care for their loved ones’ medical needs during the course of a family vacation. With that said, to learn more about the types of respite care services available in the State of Arizona, please contact us atEndeavor Senior Care. We offer one-on-one, in-home care services to individuals and families living in the Phoenix Valley.
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