Last Updated: July 18, 2018
It can be very challenging to take care of a parent who has Alzheimer’s disease. The emotional, mental and physical demands are one thing, but there are also financial costs involved in such an important role as well.
Here are some important things you should be aware of before caregiving for a parent with Alzheimer’s.
Alzheimer’s manifests itself in different ways, depending on the person who is suffering from it. One person’s symptoms may differ from another’s and there can be drastic changes experienced over time. Symptoms will also become worse over a period of time. They can be controlled by medication, but not completely removed.
Further, there is the variable of depression, which could aggravate one’s symptoms and affect how your parent goes through life with Alzheimer’s.
The most important tool you need, on a broader level, is knowledge. It is absolutely essential that you are aware of what Alzheimer’s is about:
You have an important role to be aware of everything Alzheimer’s entails and having vast knowledge is part of that role.
There are Alzheimer’s caregiver programs and training available that could further arm you with the knowledge you need about the disease. These resources help you recognize Alzheimer’s behavior and learn how to communicate with those suffering from the disease, among other things.
There are definite trials and travails when caring for parents with Alzheimer’s, but you should always make it a point to take care of yourself like you take care of others.
This could be managed through several techniques and tools such as:
One important thing to remember is that you do not have to do everything for your loved one with Alzheimer’s. Allow them to do the tasks they can handle, such as dressing themselves, but allow them leeway to finish the task on their own and at their own pace.
You should also make it a point to ask your loved one about living wills and other matters as early in their Alzheimer’s progression as possible.
What did you learn after becoming a caregiver for a parent with Alzheimer’s? We’d in the comments below.
Paula Green writes about “Ways to Help Your Parents Who Have Alzheimer’s,” and Mrs. Bing is an IT specialist and a caregiver for her father with the disease.
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