How prepared are you to start providing your mom’s Alzheimer’s care? Family caregivers may not be as ready as they think. Every situation is different, so it’s hard to be truly prepared for how your mom may act. These steps are essential when you’re creating an Alzheimer’s care plan.
Prepare the Home
Get your mom’s home prepared for Alzheimer’s care. Grab bars need to be installed near the toilet and both inside and outside the shower stall or bathtub. While she may be steady on her feet and have perfect balance now, that will change over time.
Depth perception begins to deteriorate. You’ll notice it from her shuffling walk. Remove all rugs that she could slip or trip on. Put baby gates in place near stairs. Use noticeable tape to mark where the step for a sunken living room is located.
Install alarms on doors and windows. If she starts trying to escape or wander, you’ll want to know. The sooner you can join her outside and start walking with her, the better it is. You might not get her inside right away, but she can’t wander away.
Make the stove and oven childproof with covers that keep her from being unable to turn on the oven or a burner. You don’t want a gas leak or to have her forgetting she’s cooking something and end up battling a fire.
Make sure you make elderly care services part of that care plan. You may not realize it now, but you will need help with daily care tasks. Your mom may not cooperate as much as you’d expect. She might be filled with joy one moment and angry the next.
Get Paperwork in Place
If you’re not your mom’s financial and medical power of attorney, ask her to get that set up ASAP. Someone needs to be able to make financial and medical decisions for her. She’ll want to have a lawyer draft her wishes in terms of medical care and name the people she trusts to make choices when she’s unable to.
Become Part of a Support Group
Join a support group and surround yourself with other family caregivers. Your friends may not understand what you’re going through. Family caregivers who have a parent with Alzheimer’s get it and will be the best support team you’ll have.
Take Breaks Regularly
Don’t focus so much on your mom’s care that you lose sight of yourself. It’s wonderful that you want to help out, but you run the risk of impacting your health if you stop focusing on self-care.
Respite care is your saving grace. You’ll need time to step away and spend time alone or with friends. Make these breaks part of your daily self-care routine. With the help of elderly care services, you’ll have time for breaks and return refreshed and ready to help your mom again.