Nov 28, 2017 by Lisa Carson RN, BSN
During November families of seniors who are 65 or order should sit down and have a conversation about Alzheimer’s Disease. Alzheimer’s is one of the most common diseases that affect seniors and there is no cure. November is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month and it’s a great time to talk about the symptoms of this disease. Seniors who are showing symptoms of Alzheimer’s should get checked out by their doctors.
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia and can slowly destroy a senior’s memory and critical thinking skills. Comfort Keepers Home care can help seniors and families in Lubbock, TX by keeping a log of the symptoms that seniors are experiencing. Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease; it will get worse over time. In the later stages of this disease, older adults may be unable to carry out simple tasks like bathing, toileting, and preparing meals.
Frequent Misplacement of Items: Although people misplace items all the time, those with Alzheimer’s disease place items in inappropriate places. For example, a senior may place a salt shaker in the bathroom. If you notice this with your older loved one, they may have Alzheimer’s disease.
Depression: Several of the most common symptoms of depression include social withdrawal, a lost interest in hobbies, and strange sleeping patterns. If your senior loved one used to be very social and no longer accepts invitations to spend time with friends and family, they may be depressed and displaying a sign of Alzheimer’s disease.
Memory Loss: The most common and noticeable warning sign of Alzheimer’s disease is memory loss. If your older loved one has trouble recalling names, faces, places, and even the purpose of everyday objects such as a hairbrush or a pair of scissors, there may be something very wrong.
Poor Judgment: Since dementia has a major effect on reasoning, older adults with Alzheimer’s may demonstrate poor judgment. They may completely neglect personal hygiene, say things that make no sense, or make irrational financial decisions.
Bringing up the topic of Alzheimer’s disease to your older loved one can be very difficult. Regardless of whether you need to tell them that they need to move, stop driving, or opt for home care services, you are likely worried about how they will react. Here are some great tips to ensure the conversation goes as smoothly as possible:
Schedule a Family Meeting: It’s a good idea to schedule a family meeting with you, your loved one, and other family members and close friends. This way, there is a time and a place for the conversation and people they love and trust surround your senior.
Write Up Answers to Potential Questions: You should anticipate the types of questions your older loved one may ask prior to having the conversation. Once you do, write up simple, easy-to-understand answers to these questions so you’ll know how to respond when they are asked.
Avoid Downplaying the Disease: As Alzheimer’s disease progresses, you should be open about the implications of the condition. For example, if they can no longer drive or manage their finances, let them know this and provide them with a solution.
Make Every Effort to Reassure Your Senior: Reassuring an older adult is important when speaking to them about Alzheimer’s disease. You should let them know that you will be there for them to provide support and do whatever is necessary to improve their quality of life. Home care providers can often help seniors feel more secure at home and ease their fears of living with Alzheimer’s.
Allow Your Older Adult to Express Their Feelings: Your senior will likely express feelings of frustration, anger, and disappointment during this conversation. When they do so, be sure to respond with reassurance and love.
If your senior loved one in Lubbock, TX has been displaying some of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s contact us or call (806) 228-7359 today for more information on Alzheimer’s and home care. Our senior care specialists will be happy to discuss a custom care plan for your loved one.