Alzheimer's is a progressive disease, and over time, a senior citizen who has Alzheimer's can display marked memory loss as well as a dramatic change in behavior. Serving as the caregiver of a family member or loved one with Alzheimer's can be very challenging, no matter how much you love that person. If you plan to have a family member with Alzheimer's move into your home so you can care for him or her, use the following tips:
Make Your Home Safe
It is not uncommon for senior citizens with Alzheimer's disease to wander and become lost; you can help prevent this from happening by installing secure locks on exterior doors and windows. You may want to remove the lock from the bathroom that your loved one will be using so he or she can't accidentally lock themselves in. Keep anything that could e dangerous if consumed, such as medications or cleaning products, in a cabinet secured with a child proof lock. If your loved one is still able to cook, consider buying an automatic shut-off switch for your oven and stove to prevent a house fire in the event that he or she forgets to turn it off.
Make Doctors Appointments Easier
The majority of Alzheimer's patients are under the care of a doctor, and they may also need medical attention for other conditions that are unrelated. It is not uncommon for Alzheimer's patients to dislike visiting the doctor or to become agitated during the appointments. Since skipping doctors' appointments is not an option, try to make things easier by scheduling appointments during the time of day that your loved one seems to be their best. It may also be helpful to ask a friend or other family member to go with you to appointments so one of you can pay attention to your loved one while the other one talks with the doctor. When visiting a new doctor, don't be afraid to let the office staff know that your loved one has Alzheimer's so they will understand any outbursts or agitated behavior.
Hire a Home Health Care Agency
Caring for a person with Alzheimer's can be a full-time job, and it is easy to become burned out if you don't have help. When you have a person with Alzheimer's living with you, one of the best things you can do is hire a home health care agency like In Your Home Care to provide in-home care. This service is covered by many health insurance plans, so the out of pocket cost can be quite affordable. Home health care agencies provide a variety of services from general caregiving and assistance with daily hygiene to skilled nursing. When you have home care for your loved one, it will give you a chance to take a break and attend to other areas of your life.
Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer's is a big task, but these tips can help make things a little easier.