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Providing Care for Alzheimer's Patients

April 08, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 137

Providing care for Alzheimer's can be a tough journey both for the sufferer and his loved ones. Each day you might be facing new demands and difficulties as you try to help the person handle new behavioral patterns and changing ability levels. Caring for Alzheimer's patients can be very overwhelming, but with more information and appropriate support, you can better cope with all the challenges related to providing the proper care. The best way to start is to learn the best ways of providing the care the patient needs, look for support, and study the best way to determine which long-term care option best suits you and your loved one.

How to Prepare Yourself in Providing Care for Alzheimer's Patients

When you're facing an Alzheimer's diagnosis, you might have mixed emotions and are filled with many concerns. Perhaps you worry about how the person will change, how you can always keep him comfortable, and how this will change your life. You'll most likely go through a whole range of emotions such as grief, anger, and shock. It is not easy to adjust to this reality. Give yourself time and seek for some help. If you want to provide the best care possible, then you should seek for as much support as you can.

Planning Care for Alzheimer's in the Early Stages

Planning care for Alzheimer's sooner than later has many advantages. By preparing early, you as well as your loved one will have smoother and better transitions. If at all possible, you should include the Alzheimer's patient in making decisions or at least try to include their wishes in your list. This can also be true with those whose dementia is not yet in an advanced stage.

Some of the important things to include in preparing for Alzheimer's care include:

1. Decide on the right person who would make healthcare and financial decisions when the person is no longer capable of doing so. Although this is a very difficult topic to discuss, you should try your best to put your loved one's wishes in writing while he is still clear enough. Such an act will not only preserve your loved ones but will also ensure that family members will respect them. In this case, consider acquiring a power of attorney for health care and finances. For those who have already lost their capacity, one option is to apply for conservatorship or guardianship.

2. Decide on how to meet his care needs. Family members often assume that a nearest family member, such as a spouse or a son or daughter can provide all the necessary care for Alzheimer's, however, this isn't' always the case. Care involves a tremendous responsibility that becomes even bigger over time. Family members also have their own jobs, health issues, and responsibilities to their own families. Discussing and deciding on care options are important in order to ensure that all the needs of the sufferer are met and that the ones providing care receive the support needed to meet those needs.

3. Consider where the person with Alzheimer's should live. If you and your family decide to allow him to continue living in his own home, make sure it is safe for him and that a caregiver is available to provide the care he needs. If his condition does not allow him to stay in his house, then consider relocating him to a nursing home or a facility where support is readily available. There are areas wherein you can hire a geriatric care manager privately. A care manager can give an initial assessment and assistance in handling your case, and this includes talking to an in-home provider, crisis management, or helping with placement in a nursing home or an assisted living facility.

Establishing Day-to-day Routines

When providing care for Alzheimer's, having a general day-to-day routine can help both patients and caregivers tremendously. The sense of consistency it provides the Alzheimer's patient helps lessen the burden of caring for him.

1. Perform such daily activities as waking up, bathing, dressing, mealtimes, and bedtime during regular times.

2. Give some cues to the person to help him know what to expect during the various times of the day. For instance, you can open the curtains in the morning or play some soothing music as a sign that it's already bedtime.

Involve the person in some daily activities, which he can handle and are safe for him.

Peter Mangiola is founder of Senior Helpers in home care Hammonton NJ. Our Hammonton NJ personal care services will provide you with as much care necessary for your loved ones to enjoy living independently at home.

Source: EzineArticles
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