An Alzheimer’s diagnosis can be devastating for both patients and their caregivers. It changes the course of life, but this does not mean that quality of life is over. Medical advancements, including drug therapies and other treatment options that address behavioral and cognitive changes, are making a huge impact and improving quality of life. If you or someone you know has received this diagnosis, please do not lose hope.
Champion Home Health Care of Melbourne, FL serves the residents of Brevard County by providing professional in-home health care customized for your individual needs. We know that life after Alzheimer’s can be frightening, but we are here to say that those facing this disease can live at home longer when precautions are put in place to protect the safety and well-being of those experiencing symptoms. Here are ways to help keep dementia and Alzheimer’s patients at home longer.
Those suffering from Alzheimer’s will eventually deal with several changes as the disease moves into its latter stages. These changes include judgment difficulties, loss of place and time, behavioral changes such as anger, confusion, suspicion, and fear, loss of balance, and changes that affect the senses creating visual and hearing impairment, perception of depth problems, and trouble sensing temperature. With these things in mind, the Alzheimer’s Association has some helpful tips to keep those with dementia and memory problems safe for longer. Let’s look at ways to keep the home of a patient safe while they are still able to remain there.
First, assess the surroundings. Look for objects and areas that could cause a problem for someone suffering from the effects of dementia. For example, are the hallways free and clear? Are there objects that obstruct pathways? Are knives and other utensils safely put aside? Is water temperature safe? These are all things you will want to consider when setting up the home. The Alzheimer’s Association makes the observation that post-diagnosis, the focus should be on adapting rather than attempting to teach skills again. Once you have a rough idea of what needs to be addressed, you can set up an action plan.
Simplification is key. Showing patients how to break down everyday activities into actionable steps is crucial. Dementia patients can become easily frustrated and fearful when they can no longer perform what used to be routine tasks. Exercising patience and providing action items that are simple can help in these situations. If you live alone, this is especially true. Once you feel you can no longer safely take care of daily tasks like grocery shopping, meal preparation, and self-care, consider calling Champion Home Health Care. Our caregivers can assist with all of these things along with more extensive medical care.
Emotional support will be incredibly important for patients. As their lives change, feelings of isolation and can occur. The more you, as a caregiver, can help with this the better. Reach out. Ask questions. Most of all, be realistic. Alzheimer’s progresses at different rates for everyone, so know when you need to bring in help or look for further assistance.