Learning that your aging parent has Alzheimer’s is difficult and emotional news to hear. You’ll undoubtedly have a number of questions about the disease and its prognosis, and about what you can expect from your parent’s daily behavior. You will also have to face tough questions about caregiving like whether or not you will provide day-to-day care or transition your parent into a memory care community.
Choosing to be the full-time caregiver is noble, and it can also be rewarding, but of course it’s hard, too. As you make this decision, there are a few important considerations.
Knowledge really is power. The more you understand about the disease, the better you’ll be able to provide the necessary care. Spend some time reading and studying.
Expectations are everything. You really have no idea what to expect until you talk to people who have been there. Attending a local caregiver support group, or simply speaking with an Alzheimer’s doctor, can provide you with the needed insight.
Burnout is real. You simply cannot expect to be “on” 24/7 without your energy waning, so allow yourself some time for just you. Look into respite care opportunities to assist with this. Adult day care is always a good option.
Medication management is a top priority. Make sure you talk with all of your parent’s doctors to ensure everyone is on the same page about medication, and keep an up-to-date list of the medications your parent is taking.
Routine helps. Having a set daily rhythm will be beneficial for you and for the parent you are supporting.
Interaction and inclusion are key. Make sure you plan activities where your parent can engage, socialize, and be part of a group; isolation will only make the disease worse.
Finally, remember that you do not have to do it alone. There are people in your family and in your community who can help you—and that includes us! Contact us today to ask about respite care and adult day care, among our other services.
Contact us today to ask about our adult day care program.