An Alzheimer’s diagnosis is difficult for families to take, and it often means one partner becomes the other’s caregiver in the senior years. Naturally, you worry about your parent who has developed Alzheimer’s disease, but it’s also important to think about the challenges your other parent faces. For instance, your parent may be tasked with looking after his or her partner even when feeling overwhelmed or ill. Now that you have a diagnosis, you can take these steps to help your other parent manage his or her new role as a caregiver.
1. Acknowledge the Challenges Your Parent Faces
It’s common for a person to experience different reactions to the news that his or her spouse has Alzheimer’s. Right now, your other parent may be in denial or even trying to act like everything will be fine. Although you don’t want to upset your parent, you should take a realistic view. Your loved one’s needs will only increase over time, and it’s best to make plans now with your other parent regarding how you’ll handle it as a family.
2. Promote a Positive Mindset
In addition to denial, your other parent may begin to play the blame game. He or she may regret choices made earlier in life, such as not eating healthy foods or failing to exercise. Your loved one may also blame him or herself if the parent with Alzheimer’s gets hurt or wanders off. Talk to your parent about the importance of understanding that Alzheimer’s disease is no one’s fault. If necessary, arrange for a meeting with a counselor who can help your parent learn how to accept his or her partner’s diagnosis.
A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease can be devastating for the whole family, but you’re not alone. The days, weeks, and months following an Alzheimer’s diagnosis can be challenging for both seniors and their families. However, these challenges can be made less stressful with the help of caregivers trained in professional Alzheimer’s care. Huntington Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one enjoy the golden years while simultaneously managing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s.
3. Explain the Importance of Self-Care
All caregivers need to find ways to take care of themselves. Since your parent is an older caregiver, he or she must make self-care a priority. Remind your parent to keep up with exercise and go to the doctor. Your parent may also need to find ways to relax each day, such as writing in a journal or taking a brief break in another room to collect his or her thoughts.
4. Offer to Help Out
You also have the opportunity to provide direct care to both of your parents. Let your parent without Alzheimer’s know that you’re always available to jump in and help out with things such as cleaning the house. You can also stay with the loved one with Alzheimer’s while your other parent goes out of the house for a break.
Help your parent take a much-needed break from caregiving by arranging for a professional caregiver to take over for a few hours a day or a few days a week. Families looking for top-rated Huntington in-home care providers can reach out to Home Care Assistance. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones.
5. Provide Professional Assistance
Your parent may be hesitant to accept too much help because he or she doesn’t want to be a burden. You may also live too far away to provide much hands-on support. This is another situation in which a professional caregiver can be an amazing asset. Talk to your parent about tasks he or she would love to have someone else take over. Whether he or she feels more comfortable having someone else help your other parent get dressed or likes the idea of having someone watch out for wandering overnight, you can set up a customized care plan that addresses those specific needs.
Being a caregiver for a life partner with Alzheimer’s can be overwhelming, and partners need as much support as they can get. Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Huntington Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care. Call Home Care Assistance at (304) 521-2909 to learn more about our flexible and customizable senior care plans.