The role of caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s can vary greatly as the disease progresses. In the early stages, a caregiver’s role is mostly supportive, providing occasional help as needed. During the later stages of Alzheimer’s, the primary function of the caregiver is to help their loved one maintain as much comfort and dignity as possible. While each individual is different, there are certain things that all Alzheimer’s caregivers in Vancouver should know and be prepared for.
- Moods Can Vary – Caregivers not accustomed to Alzheimer’s patients may be taken off guard by mood swings. Patients with Alzheimer’s tend to be more alert in the morning. However, everybody is different and mood variations, especially as the disease progresses, shouldn’t be taken as anything personal.
- Independence Is Important – Caregivers should act as a supervisor and try to allow the senior to do as much as possible, especially in the early stages. While you may want to take on all of your loved ones activities, encouraging him or her to be as independent as possible can help promote mood, overall outlook and self-esteem.
- Routines Help Manage Symptoms – Maintaining a normal routine can help to keep Alzheimer’s patients comfortable and eliminate confusion. Any necessary changes in routine, often for safety reasons, should be a subtle as possible. Routines also don’t mean that you have to do the same thing at the exact same time every day. Simply keeping daily activities in the same order, such as always bathing after waking up instead of at night can be helpful.
- Your Loved One Will Act Out – In addition to providing daily assistance, a caregiver acts as an extra set of eyes and ears for doctors who may not be immediately aware of new or worsening symptoms. Your loved one will likely act out of character as the result of the disease. Any sudden changes in behavior should be reported since early intervention may help correct or identify the problem.
- Support Is Available – Family caregivers should realize that they’re not alone. There’s plenty of outside support available to caregivers from in-person and online support groups to respite services for a break from caregiving responsibilities. Care agencies such as Home Care Assistance provide hourly and live-in care in Vancouver so that families can take a break while knowing that their loved one is in safe and caring hands.
For more information about caring for a senior with Alzheimer’s or to find out how an in-home Alzheimer’s caregiver can help you and your loved one, reach out to a friendly Case Manager. At Home Care Assistance of Vancouver, we offer complimentary, no-obligation consultations which can give you the opportunity to ask questions and learn more about us and our care services. Call 778-279-3634 – we look forward to hearing from you.