While there are some commonalities, Alzheimer’s disease affects every person uniquely. Our specially trained dementia caregivers know, for instance, that while someone may delight in being outdoors, a different individual could possibly be overloaded by so much sensory input and prefer a calmer indoor environment. One may appreciate a morning bath routine, while a bit of resourcefulness is important to help another maintain good hygiene.
We also know that there are particular Alzheimer’s triggers which can often exacerbate the difficult areas of Alzheimer’s disease. Family members must certainly be particularly mindful to prevent the following in order to avoid triggers that make Alzheimer’s worse:
- Dehydration. Individuals diagnosed with dementia might not be in a position to recognize when they are thirsty, or may reject provided fluids. It is important to ensure appropriate hydration to avoid additional weakness and confusion. Plain water is most beneficial; nonetheless, if rejected, try flavored waters, as well as different types of cups or bottles.
- Isolation. Those diagnosed with dementia suffer from loneliness as much as anyone else, and without having enough social stimulation, may become progressively agitated or paranoid. A specialist caregiver, like those at Home Sweet Home In-Home Care, who are fully trained in dementia care, can provide appropriate socialization, giving members of the family a much-needed break from care.
- Sugar. It is common for those with Alzheimer’s disease to experience an elevated appetite for cookies, cake, and other sugary snacks, but it may also result in greater irritability. Try offering a number of healthier options, including fruit, yogurt, or sugar-free goodies.
- Sleeping pills. With the difficulties of common sleep problems, including sundowning, it may be tempting for family members to supply sleeping pills to a loved one with Alzheimer’s to promote a more restful night. Yet these drugs increase the risk for falls and other accidents and add to confusion and fogginess. Talk to the senior’s physician for a natural sleep-inducing alternative.
- TV. Be aware of what is on TV; shows containing criminal activity and violence, as well as the nightly news, can instill fear and paranoia in people diagnosed with dementia. It might be wise to leave the television off and engage your senior loved one in alternate activities, including games, puzzles, reading together, exercising, and reminiscing – or choose to view videos you have carefully evaluated to make certain content is appropriate.
Every member of our dementia caregiving team is fully trained and experienced in providing person-centered, compassionate care to effectively manage the difficulties inherent with Alzheimer’s, and to improve wellbeing. Contact us at (269) 849-9252 for more about our St. Joseph home health care services and dementia care tips, or for an in-home consultation to learn how our specialized caregivers can make life brighter for your loved one. To learn more about all of the areas that our team serves in southwest Michigan, visit our Service Area page.