One of the greatest challenges that you can face as a family caregiver is caring for a senior with Alzheimer’s disease. This progressive disease impacts all facets of life and will eventually require consistent, 24-hour care for the elderly adult. While it is likely that you have ideas as to what Alzheimer’s disease “looks like” or how a person with this disease behaves, it is important to recognize that the progression begins with extremely mild symptoms that may barely be noticeable. It is detecting these early symptoms, however, that help you to get your parent on a course of management and treatment that is right for them and that can help them to cope with the rest of the disease better.
Approximately 60 percent of the more than 5 million people who are living with Alzheimer’s disease will develop wandering tendencies. This can be extremely dangerous, causing them to wander away from home or other locations and end up lost or in hazardous conditions. Many end up seriously injured or even lose their lives due to wandering. Noting the sometimes subtle early signs of wandering can enable you to put measures into place to protect your parent and keep them from falling victim to the dangers of this tendency.
Some of the early signs that your senior might be struggling with wandering tendencies include:
• Getting lost going to familiar locations
• Seeming confused when they are in a familiar location and unsure of how they are supposed to navigate it
• Taking longer to get from one place to another
• Showing up in locations and not remembering how they got there
• Showing up in locations and not knowing why they are there
• Mentioning that they need to go to a place or to do a task that they do not need to, such as going to work when they are retired, or going to a beauty appointment that is still several days away
Being a family caregiver for an elderly adult who is living with Alzheimer’s disease can be extremely challenging. Integrating a home care provider into your care routine, however, can make a tremendous difference not only in the care that they receive, but also in your well-being and quality of life as they progress through this disease. A care provider can be in the home with your parent on a customized schedule to ensure that their care needs are fulfilled, even if you are struggling with your own challenges and limitations, a busy schedule, distance, or other issues that keep you from handling all of your parent’s needs. It is vital to remember that, particularly during the moderate to later stages of the disease, it is virtually impossible for one person to manage all of the care for a senior with this condition. The personalized services of an in-home care provider mean that your parent will stay healthy, safe, and comfortable while you have time to focus on your other needs and yourself.
When you are in need of care for a senior loved one, consider caregivers provided by Golden Heart Senior Care. We have offices nationwide. For more information, call us today at (800) 601-2792.