Alzheimer‘s/Dementia impacts millions of American families every single year. Alzheimer‘s patients watch their loved ones slowly morph into strangers, people they no longer recognize because of memory loss. Alzheimer’s is excruciating for everyone involved to endure. It becomes difficult to relate to the loved one because they no longer relate or share the same memories anymore.
It is equivalent to getting to know someone for the first time after 50 years of life together. Because this disease can take such an intense toll on family and friends who walk through it, it’s helpful to be informed about what to expect, and to know a few tips to help ease the pain and embrace the new reality of Alzheimer’s.
Hire a Home Health Aide
Life doesn’t stop when a family member gets sick, or experiences a change of mental state. But there’s very little to be done about it, except to go with the flow and deal with the changes gracefully. If it is possible to quit working and focus on tending to the family member, then that’s wonderful. However, for many people, that is just not in the realm of possibilities. One of the best ways to make sure the loved one is getting all the help they need is through a home health aide.
When a person deals with Alzheimer’s, their memory fails and this can impact everything they do. In order to make sure they don’t cause any harm to themselves, a home health aide will be a great buffer between the family member and any potential danger. When hiring a home health aide, it is important to remember some of the ideal traits. Ideal traits of a home health aide include patience, attentiveness, kindness and gentleness.
When one endures the difficulties of Alzheimer’s, it is important to have someone who is patient with them on a day-to-day basis. Some days may be better than others. A calm temperament is important to transition through the challenging moments. It is important to be attentive because someone who is dealing with dementia isn’t. A home health aide must create their own system of knowing where important items are and memorizing important information. Dementia patients won’t always know, but someone needs to. This is where a home health aide can be a true asset as well.
Create New Memories and Traditions
Families become stronger units because of the traditions, love and memories they share. Unfortunately, when Alzheimer’s sets in, these cherished treasures can be easily forgotten. While it is totally acceptable to mourn what’s lost, all hope isn’t gone yet. While the family member is still alive, a great way to deal with this setback is by creating new memories and reintroduce the old memories. A daughter who is dealing with her mother’s dementia might want to pull out old pictures and tell the stories of those good times.
Even if the mother may not be able to remember, she can still appreciate it. Or for the son who can no longer go skiing with his father, he can still create fun traditions at home. Thanks to inventions like the Wii, families can enjoy sports from the comfort of their living room couch. In these cases, it is all about getting creative and looking on the bright side.
Get Counseling or Group Therapy
While getting creative and looking on the bright side of things are great choices when dealing with Alzheimer’s in a loved one, they can be really challenging choices to make. This is why it is important to have emotional support through the entire process. Counseling is a really great option to talk things through with someone who can empathize and offer solutions. Additionally, there is such a strength in numbers. Group therapy meetings in a relaxed setting can be extremely helpful for a number of reasons.
They are a great way to take the edge off of the situation. These meetings shine light on who else is dealing with the challenges and how they’re coping. Group therapy sessions promote a judgement-free zone for anyone to ask for help or guidance. It is also an excellent way to meet people who understand the struggle and can encourage during the process.