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What Families Should Know About Elderly Care for Alzheimer’s Disease

Nov 27, 2017 by Robert Myer

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. It affects more than 5 million seniors in the US, and it becomes more common as seniors age. Nearly 50% of seniors over 85 have Alzheimer’s Disease.

November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month, so Comfort Keepers of El Dorado, AR has compiled the following elderly care tips related to Alzheimer’s disease. Learn more about the common warning signs of this condition, as well as tips on how to have a conversation with your senior loved one about this disease.

Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease

Frequent Misplacement of Items: Although people misplace items all the time, those with Alzheimer’s disease place items in inappropriate places. For example, a senior may place a salt shaker in the bathroom. If you notice this with your older loved one, they may have Alzheimer’s disease. Elderly care services can provide support for seniors who have trouble remembering things or may have Alzheimer’s.

Memory Loss: Most people forget names, faces or dates at one point or another. But if you notice that your loved one consistently has trouble remembering things this could be a symptom of Alzheimer’s. Also if your loved one has trouble remembering basic information like their address or their name that could be a sign of Alzheimer’s and it should be checked out. 

Depression: Depression is a condition by itself that affects millions of seniors so depression alone doesn’t mean that your loved one has Alzheimer’s. But depression can be a symptom of Alzheimer’s, especially if your loved one has not previously had depression.

Poor Judgment: Since dementia has a major effect on reasoning, older adults with Alzheimer’s may demonstrate poor judgment. They may completely neglect personal hygiene, say things that make no sense, or make irrational financial decisions.

How to Speak to a Senior About Alzheimer’s Disease

Bringing up the topic of Alzheimer’s disease to your older loved one can be very difficult. Regardless of whether you need to tell them that they need to move, stop driving, or opt for home care services, you are likely worried about how they will react. Here are some great tips to ensure the conversation goes as smoothly as possible:

Avoid Downplaying the Disease: As Alzheimer’s disease progresses, you should be open about the implications of the condition. For example, if they can no longer drive or manage their finances, let them know this and provide them with a solution.

Schedule a Family Meeting: It’s a good idea to schedule a family meeting with you, your loved one, and other family members and close friends. This way, there is a time and a place for the conversation and your senior is surrounded by people they love and trust.

Allow Your Older Adult to Express Their Feelings: Your senior will likely express feelings of frustration, anger, and disappointment during this conversation. When they do so, be sure to respond with reassurance and love.

Write Up Answers to Potential Questions: You should anticipate the types of questions your older loved one may ask prior to having the conversation. Once you do, write up simple, easy-to-understand answers to these questions so you’ll know how to respond when they are asked.

Make Every Effort to Reassure Your Senior: Reassuring an older adult is important when speaking to them about Alzheimer’s disease. You should let them know that you will be there for them to provide support and do whatever is necessary to improve their quality of life. Elderly care is a great way to get seniors the help they need without sacrificing their independence.

If you have a senior loved one in El Dorado, AR, or in the surrounding area, and you are worried about them living alone contact us or call (870) 345-3555 today.

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