Experts say that the average life expectancy for an elderly adult living with Alzheimer’s disease from the time of diagnosis is four to eight years. Depending on health and care, and thanks to advancements in treatments, however, many of these seniors are living much longer. This means that as a family caregiver, you need to be prepared to give your aging parent care, support, and assistance for many years, most of which will likely be spent in the middle, or moderate, stage of the disease.
This is the point in the disease when the symptoms and challenges that a senior is facing will become much more obvious and their need for care will increase. They will no longer be able to live independently and will likely need someone with them for a large portion of the day in order to remain safe and healthy.
Use these tips to help you care for an elderly adult in the middle stages of Alzheimer’s disease:
• Create a care network. You will not be able to handle all of your parent’s challenges on your own without threatening your own health and well-being, and the quality of the care that you give them. If you have not already created a care network featuring friends, family, and professionals dedicated to helping your parent manage their needs, now is the time to do it.
• Seek out support. Emotional support will be valuable for both your aging parent and you during this progression. Look for support groups specifically designed for those living with Alzheimer’s disease and their family caregivers for the most beneficial support and advice.
• Ensure safety. This is the stage in your parent’s progression when their safety needs will become even more pressing. Wandering, judgment issues, and increased functional problems can put them in dangerous situations. Take steps to ensure your parent’s safety such as increasing the security of their home, using GPS monitoring, having an elder care provider available for physical support, and removing potentially dangerous items from their home.
• Remain connected. This can be a very hard stage of care. You might notice changes in your parent that make them seem as though they aren’t the same person. Take the time to stay bonded to your parent and to maintain a connection with them on a child-parent level rather than just as a caregiver and care recipient. This will give more meaning to the experience and make it more valuable to both of you.
Whether you have recently found out that your aging parent is living with Alzheimer’s disease, or they have been progressing through this disease for some time and have developed symptoms that you do not feel you can handle on your own, now may be the ideal time for you to consider starting elder care for them. An elderly home care services provider can act as a supplement to the care that you already give your senior so that you can feel confident that they are getting everything that they need, while also reducing your stress, easing your care burden, and allowing you to focus on your own health, well-being, and quality of life as well. These highly personalized services can include managing sensitive tasks that you are not comfortable handling, providing safe transportation, offering companionship and support, assisting with activities of daily living, and providing personal care designed to specifically help your loved one with the struggles that they are facing now, and those that they may develop later in their progression.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elder care in Danbury, CT, or the surrounding areas, please contact SYNERGY HomeCare of Danbury, CT at 203-731-2544.