November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Month and if you’re new to caring for a family member that has been diagnosed with this condition you may feel out of your element very quickly. Here’s what you may need to know in order to put together a plan that works.
You May Feel Like You’re Guessing a Lot
There’s a lot that may not be obvious to you now, especially if your elderly family member isn’t able to communicate with you in the ways that she did in the past. That can feel like you’re spending a lot of time just taking some wild guesses about what she needs and wants. Working with your senior’s doctors can help you a lot, as can leaning on elder care providers and their experience.
Safety Is a Big Part of Every Day
Focusing on your senior’s safety likely also takes up a lot of your time and energy. There are many different ways that her safety could be a concern for you, especially if your elderly family member has started wandering or engaging in other behaviors. Having someone there with her at all times is one of the best first steps toward keeping her safe, which is again where elder care providers shine.
There Are a Lot of Other Things to Manage
But there’s so much besides Alzheimer’s disease that may be going on, too. Your senior may have other health issues, like high blood pressure or arthritis, and those conditions don’t go away just because she’s dealing with Alzheimer’s disease. Make a care plan with all of her doctors and specialists so that you’re not leaving anything out. Elder care services can help you to stay on top of all of those demands, too.
You Need to Have Time for Yourself
You absolutely need to be taking time away, too. Having some time where you’re not focused on anything but what you need is an important part of making sure that you’re able to keep up with all of the various things that demand your attention when you’re on deck. Take respite time as often as you can, because that is going to allow you to keep going.
There’s always something different around the corner when you’re caring for a family member who has Alzheimer’s disease. Keep learning about the condition so that you can keep helping in all the ways that you can.