Alzheimer’s changes the playing field when it comes to senior care. A senior’s mood swings, personality changes, and likes and dislikes interfere. People think they know what to expect. Suddenly, they find themselves in uncharted territory and make mistakes while providing care. Here are some of the common mistakes family members make and wish they had done differently.
Trying to Correct Their Mom or Dad.
When someone has Alzheimer’s current memories may be the first to go. It doesn’t have to be that way, however. Delusions, paranoia, and false memories can set it. To that person with Alzheimer’s, it truly feels like it happened. Nothing will convince the person otherwise.
When a senior firmly believes that something happened a specific way, it’s best to live in the moment. Don’t argue. Arguing only hurts feelings and adds to the frustration that person feels. Tell the person that you can’t imagine how scary/maddening/sad/frustrating a situation was. Live in their moment rather than trying to correct them.
Failing to Plan for the Future While Their Parent Can Still Make Decisions.
Power of attorney decisions are best made in the very early stages of Alzheimer’s. If they’re made before Alzheimer’s is an issue, it’s even better. If decisions regarding a medical or financial power of attorney are made when Alzheimer’s is worsening, it may be too late. The lawyer must decide if the senior citizen really understands what is being signed.
It’s also important for families to talk about what their parent wants. Some seniors want to age at home and will accept help. Others do not want their children or grandchildren helping them shower and clean up after using the toilet. This is a conversation to have before situations change.
Waiting Until Something Happens to Take Action.
Many families wait until something bad happens before they seek help. It might be a fall or a senior wandering away and getting lost. It’s best to talk to senior care agencies about what to expect in the future and what help could reduce stress now.
Seniors may be okay aging at home with an hour or two of care each day or week. Some Alzheimer’s patients need around-the-clock home care. Planning in advance cuts stress and the rush of finding the best services when there’s little time to research options.
What should you do now? Make sure you have support as your mom or dad’s memory loss progresses. There will come days that you just don’t think you can do it. It’s normal. It’s also a good sign that it’s time for a break. Respite care services from a senior care agency help.
With respite care, a professional caregiver takes over while you take a break. Respite care helps you clear your mind and return refreshed and ready to go.