What Should Family Caregivers Consider When a Parent Has Alzheimer’s?

AARP and the National Center on Caregiving report that more than 15.7 million family caregivers care for someone with dementia. That’s almost half of the millions of people providing unpaid care.

Caregiver in Seal Beach CA: Alzheimer's Caregiving

Caregiver in Seal Beach CA: Alzheimer’s Caregiving

When you’re caring for a parent with Alzheimer’s, you’ll learn or experience something new almost daily. You can’t know exactly when things will change. You can take time to consider what others have experienced and use that knowledge to help plan what home care will become necessary.

Changes Can Appear Suddenly.

One family learned this the hard way. Their mom had always surrounded herself with two family dogs. She’d grown up with dogs. They were her companions and source of comfort.

One day on the video cameras they used to track their mom’s daily activities, they saw her acting threatening to her dogs. The dogs were being hit and kicked, so they acted immediately and removed the dogs from their mom’s home. Their mom was devastated. She couldn’t remember getting that angry.

UTIs can cause sudden aggression, but Alzheimer’s also can. Aggression can come and go without warning. Missing a dose of medications, a change to a regular routine, or lack of sleep can all impact mood when Alzheimer’s is diagnosed.

Food Preferences Change Regularly.

A New York caregiver said her biggest frustration comes from her father’s changing tastes. He loves soup and asked her to make a pot of tomato beef soup. She did and served him a bowl for dinner. He refused to eat it. He insisted he hates tomatoes and never asked her to make the soup. She had to make another meal in order to get him to eat.

Another family talked about having their mom suddenly develop an aversion to seafood. She loved salmon for decades, but one day she announced she had never liked fish and that she didn’t want it cooked in her house or served to her. A day later, she asked for salmon for dinner.

Fixations Are Common.

Caregivers also struggle with clothing. One caregiver found her mom got so hung up on one pair of jeans that she refused to leave the house if she couldn’t wear them. The jeans wore out and had to be thrown away. No matter what jeans the family caregivers bought, their mom would not wear them because they were not exactly like her favorite jeans.

Take Breaks.

Caregiving is hard work. It’s tough emotionally and physically. If you don’t know about respite care, call an agency and ask. Caregivers come to your parent’s home and help provide care while you take a break. Don’t overlook respite care. You’ll need it.

If you or an aging loved-one are considering caregiver services in Seal Beach, CA, please contact the caring staff at Easy Living Home Care today. Providing Non-Medical Home Care Services in Orange County, CA since 2009. Call for Assistance: (949) 282-5017 or (949) 842-6831





Lori LaPorte
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