How to Best Help Your Aging Parents When Alzheimer’s is Present

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Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia are to blame for approximately 33 percent of all deaths in people 65 or older. In seven years, heart disease-related deaths decreased by 9 percent, but Alzheimer’s deaths increased by 145 percent. It’s frightening how quickly this disease is affecting older Americans.

Home Care Services in Coconut Creek FL: Alzheimer's Tips
Home Care Services in Coconut Creek FL: Alzheimer’s Tips

If your parent is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, odds are high that you’ll end up providing at least some of their care.
About 16 million men and women are unpaid caregivers to people diagnosed with dementia. When you become an unpaid caregiver, it’s easy to get drawn into the care and forget about your own needs. You can’t let that happen.

You can’t run a car on an empty gas tank. The same is true of yourself. If you’re emotionally or physically drained, there’s no way you’ll be able to provide the care your parent needs. These are just a few of the things you’ll be helping with.

Transportation
As the brain deteriorates, short-term memories are often one of the first things to go. You can’t have your parent driving alone anymore. Your mom may forget where she is and struggle with how to get back home. There have been cases where people with Alzheimer’s have taken wrong turns or driving into ponds, they have even become stranded after driving down old logging roads. Keys must be taken away.

Dressing, Grooming, and Bathing
Over time, Alzheimer’s robs a person of the ability to move around as easily as in the past. The gait slows. Depth perception weakens and falls are a bigger risk. It becomes hard to stand without assistance. This makes bathing independently very difficult. Shower seats help, but someone still needs to help that person get out of the shower, dried off, and dressed into appropriate clothing for the weather.

Grooming tasks like trimming nails, brushing hair, and brushing/flossing teeth also become harder to do as the disease progresses. Even if a senior can still accomplish these daily routines, it’s common to forget if they’ve been done or not. It’s easy for someone with Alzheimer’s to believe they’ve done something even if they haven’t.

Meals and Beverages
Preparing meals is dangerous. Most families have to cut electricity or gas to a stove to prevent fires when items cooking in ovens or on stoves are forgotten. That’s just one issue. In the latter stage, swallowing is a challenge. Alzheimer’s patients eventually cannot feed themselves and lose the ability to swallow.

People with Alzheimer’s disease often forget if they’ve had a drink. The risk of dehydration is there. Someone needs to monitor how often your mom or dad is having a glass of water. You don’t want dehydration leading to other health issues.

Senior care services help you and your parents out.
You’ll be able to take breaks. Your mom or dad gains a companion and senior care services that make a difference during the stressful symptoms Alzheimer’s delivers. Call a senior care agency and arrange help today.

If you or a family member are in need of Home Care Services in Coconut Creek, FL, call the caring professionals at Star Multi Care today at (954) 870-4770. Providing service in Boca Raton, West Palm Beach, Delray Beach, Boynton Beach, Weston, Southwest Ranches, Pembroke Pines, Cooper City, Lighthouse Point, and Wilton Manors.

Sources:
Alz.org
Pdfs.semanticscholar.org


About the author: Stephen Sternbach
Stephen Sternbach has been the Chairman of the Board of Directors, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Star Multi Care Services since 1987. After the sale of the New York and New Jersey operations of Star Multi Care Services, Sternbach brought the company private where he remains President and CEO of this newly developed $22M home healthcare company. With Sternbach at the helm, Star Multi Care Services employs more than 550 employees, in six offices throughout Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio and New York. From 1978 to 1986, Sternbach was associated with Automated Data Processing, Inc. (“ADP”)–a provider of information services, where he held several marketing positions before becoming the Director of Sales. 1999-2008 Sternbach was an active participant on the Board of Directors for Proginet–a computer software company based in Garden City, New York. He also served on the Board of Trustees of the Long Island Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society from 1996-2002. In 1996, Stephen Sternbach was named “Entrepreneur of the Year” by Ernst & Young, Paine Webber and NASDAQ. Sternbach was also named in Crain’s New York Business Article, “40 Under 40” Successful Business Executives/Future Business Leaders in 1995. While maintaining a diversity of business and personal interests, Sternbach concentrated most of his efforts over the past 28 years towards continuously improving the quality of services delivered by the Star Multi Care Services’ family of companies. Stephen Sternbach holds a Master of Public Administration from Syracuse University – Maxwell School of Public Administration and a Bachelor of Arts in Industrial Relations and Personnel Administration from Ithaca College.