The New Year is a time when we look ahead with optimism and dedicate ourselves to living better lives.
If you are a caregiver for a loved one with dementia, the optimism for the New Year might be tempered somewhat by your loved one’s disease and your own life’s increasing challenges as a dementia caregiver. However, the good news is that there are a few simple resolutions that can make your life in the New Year a healthier and happier one.
At-home caregivers of loved ones living with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia face an increasing number of challenges as the disease progresses. Two of the more challenging symptoms that can present themselves are anger and aggression.
Caring for a parent with Alzheimer’s disease or other form of dementia brings with it many challenges – both physical and emotional. For many adult children, one of the most heartbreaking of these is when a parent no longer recognizes them.
According to dementia care experts, as a parent’s dementia advances, his or her ability to recognize the faces of their loved ones declines. This often results in diminishing family relationships – an unfortunate and unnecessary situation that can be harmful to both the parent with dementia and their adult children.
When planning for the holidays with a loved one who has dementia, family members might not know how to proceed. Concerns about how disruptions in routine could cause more harm than good, the logistics of making the holiday celebration as safe as possible and what the family should talk about with their loved one is a lot to handle. Taking careful safety measures, keeping the needs of the person with memory loss in mind and communicating with other family members will make the holidays a more enjoyable time for you and your family.
As anyone with a loved one who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia knows, memory loss affects everyone involved. The adjustment to new routines and lifestyles can be overwhelming for the person with dementia as well as the family caregiver. By looking at dementia from different perspectives, one gains insight to the behaviors, actions and struggles each person faces on a daily basis.
As a result of the progressive nature of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, an individual’s physical and mental abilities will continue to decline with the passage of time. Memory care experts explain that loved ones will eventually require more round the clock care and support than can be safely and appropriately provided in the home.
This presents yet another challenge for at-home caregivers who are doing the best they can with their limited time, energy, resources and expertise.
With spring in the air and the warm weather months fast approaching, many of us are looking forward to the carefree days of summer – sun-filled days, vacation trips and backyard picnics with family and friends.
“However, if you are caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or other form of dementia,” Sharon Major, Director of Marketing and Community Relations at Impressions Memory Care at Bryn Mawr in Bryn Mawr, PA,says, “summer is also a time that requires extra vigilance and awareness.”