Caregiver in Anthem AZ
Finding out that your aging loved one has Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia can be one of the greatest challenges of your caregiver journey. Just hearing this diagnosis can make you feel as though you are facing an obstacle that you do not even know how to approach much less overcome, and that you are not fully prepared for what you will need to do in order to continue giving your senior parent the lifestyle that she deserves and the care and assistance that she needs. You also know that the symptoms your parent is experiencing now will only get worse as the disease progresses, putting you in the position of having to be constantly vigilant about these challenges and prepared to change your approach to taking care of your senior.
One time when this can be particularly difficult is during the holiday season. The holiday season is a time when you want to spend quality time with your friends and family, enjoying traditions that you have followed for generations, and reminiscing about cherished times that you have spent with your loved ones. If your senior is experiencing increased symptoms, however, you might find that the holiday season this year presents more difficulties and challenges than you feel prepared to handle.
Fortunately, there are ways that you can cope with increased Alzheimer’s symptoms during the holiday season and continue to create lasting memories you can cherish even after your caregiver journey comes to an end.
• Talk about the holidays. During the holiday season it seems like everything that you do has to do with celebrating the holidays, but you may find that you do not often actually talk about them. Since everyone else is already thinking about the holidays and doing what they need to do to get ready for their celebrations, you do not necessarily feel like you need to talk about it. If you have a senior with Alzheimer’s disease, however, you need to talk about it. Take time every day to talk about the holiday season, the upcoming holidays, what you are doing to celebrate, and the types of activities you have planned. Continuously reiterating this information helps them to be more in control and can ease the stress that can come with confusion.
• Use familiar items. If your parent is dealing with increased symptoms of Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia, this is not the year to try a new decorative approach or fill the buffet with new dishes. Surrounding your loved one with familiar items such as the same ornaments she has always used on her Christmas tree and serving dishes made from traditional family recipes can trigger memories and help your loved one feel more comfortable. You may even find that having these familiar items allows your parent to participate in the holiday celebrations.
• Keep up your routine. You may have to fit many new things into your schedule during the holiday season, but it is important to keep your routine as consistent as possible. Consistency and predictability are vital to maintaining mental and emotional health for seniors with dementia, and can help to reduce negative behaviors and emotions associated with the disease, including anxiety, stress, aggression, and combativeness. Do as much as you can to keep up with how you usually do things with your parents, including mealtimes, sleep patterns, and diet. Consider hiring a home care provider to help keep up your loved ones’ routine while you handle other holiday tasks.
If you or an aging loved one are considering caregiver services in Anthem, AZ, contact the caring staff at Assisting Hands Home Care at (480) 725-7002.
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