No one ever said that getting older was easy, but when you watch your loved one be afflicted with Alzheimer’s, the effects of aging become more real. If you have a family member who was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, do not think this is the end of the road. While the disease is debilitating, there are many things you can do to lessen the burden on yourself, create a positive environment for your loved one and offer the best quality of life as possible.
Understand the Progression of Alzheimer’s
The best thing you can do is educate yourself and those who will be dealing with your loved one. There is a lot of good information on the Internet that will help you learn about the various stages of Alzheimer’s. Through this information, you can learn how to communicate with your loved one, reduce everyday frustrations and improve the quality of life for yourself and your family.
Visit the Primary Care Physician
It’s important that your loved one’s physical health is cared for, so don’t miss out on important doctor visits and vaccinations that will keep them healthy. It’s not uncommon for doctor visits to be missed or prolonged because family members don’t want to deal with these slightly hectic appointments, but they are necessary. The better physical health your loved one is in, the less worries you have.
Create a Safe Environment
If your loved one will be staying in their home or with you, create a safe environment. Limit access to medicine cabinets, install safety locks where necessary and place grab-on bars in the bathroom. You will eventually have to take measures to prevent your family member from wandering away from the home.
Form a Strong Support Network
When a family member is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, everyone must work together to offer the best care possible. Create a strong network, and delegate tasks to everyone, such as scheduling appointments, arranging for transportation and cooking and freezing meals. Also, doctors and caregivers should be included in your support network.
Alzheimer’s is a disease that basically kills off the brain tissue little by little. Expect changes in your loved one’s personality and behaviors. Remember that things said and done are not personal, but instead a result of the disease. You are caring for the person, not the disease, so keep your expectations realistic.