Senior Caregivers must remember to take care of their needs to better support their Appleton Loved One with Alzheimer’s
Alzheimer’s Caregivers: Remember to Care for Yourself to Take Care of Your Appleton Senior
Appleton seniors living with Alzheimer’s want to continue their lives as fully and well as possible, for as long as possible. To be able to have the choice of living healthy, active, and involved and independently is the overall desire by those living with Alzheimer’s, especially after they are first diagnosed. As the Alzheimer’s caregiver, your MOST IMPORTANT job is to help them attain these goals. Make note of the list below to help you along in helping your senior as they begin their new life of living with Alzheimer’s.
- Motivate them to stay active. Studies show, physical activity and exercise is an easy way to help maintain the disease, especially if they are activities that the two of you both can enjoy.
- Maintain a healthy and balanced diet by preparing meals that are low fat and have lots of vegetables.
- Keep a consistent daily schedule which involves engaging with others, and helps your senior sleep well.
- Always be on the alert for stressful situations that could set off your loved one living with Alzheimer’s.
- TEAM WORK! Work together on ways to relax and enjoy life.
Alzheimer’s Caregivers should take time for themselves
Being an Alzheimer’s caregiver can cause stress in your life. To help reduce some of this stress, try to engage yourself in activities that strengthen your sense of well-being. Spending time with family and friends, maintaining a healthy diet, exercising, and regularly seeing your doctor are just a few examples of how remember to take care of yourself.
When it comes to your emotional and mental health, think about ways to take some time of yourself to sit back and relax and gain your own support system. This could mean one afternoon a month where you schedule time away from your Appleton senior and take some time for yourself, and schedule someone else to be caregiver for the day.
- Build yourself a support network: Surrounding yourself with support is key at the very beginning, before things become too stressful and overwhelming.
- Other caregivers: Find encouragement and comfort in those who know exactly what you are going through. Having understanding and knowledgeable support can make a world of difference.
- Get help: It is common for caregivers to always give and be there to help, but do not seek or accept help for themselves. Make sure you ASK AND ACCEPT!
- Rest: Make time for yourself and what interests you.
- Don’t be oversensitive: As an Alzheimer’s caregiver, remember that the disease affects the senior’s brain. Their memory may not always be sharp, so if they are forgetful about commitments or things you discuss, do not take it personally.
- Your Health: Maintain your diet, exercise, and regular doctor visits.
- Be engaged: Staying involved in activities that are important to you as an individual will help you to maintain a healthy and balanced life while caregiving for your senior.
- Laugh: Remember that it is okay to, and make opportunities to, laugh as funny situations come along.
Resources and Other Information for Alzheimer’s Care
As an Alzheimer’s caregiver, your confidence will build the more you educate yourself about the disease, and the more prepared you will be as various situations arise. The more knowledge you gain, the easier it will be for you to problem solve, especially as the disease grows and changes. Prepare yourself with what the future may hold, what to expect and how to handle it. You will feel empowered, and in turn, you can help your Appleton senior living with Alzheimer’s gain confidence as well.
Acceptance: It is vitally important that you, the Alzheimer’s caregiver accept the diagnosis, before your Appleton senior. Your acceptance can affect and support them in accepting this new stage of life they find themselves in.
Understanding: Symptoms of Alzheimer’s are slow to develop, but they get worse over time, and eventually hinder an Appleton senior from performing every day tasks and activities. While it is different from person to person, comparing symptoms with others suffering from Alzheimer’s can be helpful.
Treatments and trials: While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s, treatments and trials are available to help with the symptoms, and provide a better quality of life for your Appleton senior loved one for as long as possible.
The future: An Appleton senior who is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s will want to have a voice in their future, as well as in the decisions that will affect them, whether that be legal, financial, or long term care planning. These conversations will most likely be difficult, but keeping the Appleton senior suffering from Alzheimer’s involved will help empower everyone. Also, knowing the wishes of your loved one will help you as the Alzheimer’s caregiver will give you confidence in the future when decisions need to be made for them. As in many scenarios in life, being organized and prepared will make life easier and more enjoyable for all.
Living alone: Living alone is common for Appleton seniors living with early onset Alzheimer’s. As the caregiver, call and visit often, always making help readily available for your loved one. This includes having help available for meal prep, financial aid, transportation, and other daily chores. Be ready for sudden changes, and make sure extra help is on hand if ever needed.
BrightStar Home Care of Appleton and Waupaca area proudly provides medical staffing, skilled nursing and non-medical in home care for seniors and children, including a passion for elder care companionship and supportive services in Outagamie, Waupaca, and portions of Winnebago, Calumet and Brown counties. We are very proud of our Joint Commission Accreditation to provide you the highest quality of care in the Appleton, Fox Cities and Waupaca areas.