Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s can quickly become all-consuming. As your loved one’s physical, cognitive, and functional abilities start to diminish, it is easy to become disheartened and overwhelmed. If you are currently experiencing these feelings, these tips can help you in your caregiving role and to cope with the challenges that come at each stage.
Caring For Your Loved One in The Early Stages of Alzheimer’s
- Accept the diagnosis. Allow your loved one and yourself time to process the news and to transition to the new condition.
- Deal with conflicting emotions. Frustrations, anger, grief, disbelief, fear, and denial are common in the early stages of Alzheimer’s. Therefore, allow your loved one to express these feelings. As a caregiver, confide in a trusted friend if you are wrestling with these feelings.
- Utilize available resources. There are a wealth of online resources and communities that assist caregivers on this journey. Look for Alzheimer’s associations in your area. You can find practical support, advice, help lines, and training for caregivers and loved ones.
Caring For Your Loved One in The Middle Stages of Alzheimer’s
As your loved one’s condition worsens, they will need more care, and that means you will need more support.
- Ask for help. Reach out to friends, family members, or volunteer organizations. They can help with the daily burden of caregiving. Plan frequent breaks every day to help pursue your interests, hobbies and allow you to keep track of your health.
- Learn from others. The experience of others who have cared for a loved one with Alzheimer’s can help reduce feelings of hopelessness, fear, and isolation.
- Utilize respite care. Many memory care homes offer respite care for a day, a week or longer. This will allow you the time to take care of yourself, run errands or do things without having to worry about your loved one being home alone.
Caring For Your Loved One in The Later Stages of Alzheimer’s
At this stage, your loved one requires 24-hour care. They might have difficulty handling personal care, keeping up with medications, and not be able to always express their needs. At this stage, it may be the best option to move them into a memory care facility that can be there and care for your loved one.
Implementing these suggestions at each stage of Alzheimer’s disease can help you with your caregiving journey. While you work at giving your loved one the best care possible, remember to not neglect your physical and emotional needs!
The Cottages have been operating in Texas since 1997 and are family-owned and operated by The Cottages Senior Living. The Cottages are state-of-the-art certified assisted living residences for people living with Alzheimer’s and other memory disorders.