5 Techniques for Caring for an Aging Loved One with Alzheimer’s

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Caring for a senior with Alzheimer’s can be a difficult job. There may be good days as well as bad. Family caregivers need to remain positive and look for ways to maximize their loved one’s brain health. Here are some tips you can use for treating a senior loved one with Alzheimer’s disease.

1. Provide Reassurance

Fear is one of the top reasons Alzheimer’s accelerates. The stress from not knowing how the disease will impact their lives going forward is often too much for older adults, but reassurance from family caregivers can treat these problems. Let your loved one know you’re there for him or her even when times become difficult. Knowing he or she can depend on you may keep your loved one calm and prevent many behavioral challenges.

One of the most important things to consider is whether and when to hire a professional caregiver for your loved one. Families looking for top-rated home care providers can reach out to Home Care Assistance. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones.

2. Provide Social Activity

Being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s doesn’t prevent seniors from living a social lifestyle, especially during the early stages. Participating in social activities such as joining a dance class, volunteering at an animal shelter, or attending community events with family and friends can stave off cognitive decline and boost quality of life. Socialization promotes new connections between the brain cells and boosts short-term memory and concentration skills. When using socialization to treat Alzheimer’s, make sure your loved one attends a social outing at least once per week.

A professional caregiver with experience in Alzheimer’s care can be a wonderful source of companionship for your loved one. Families who need help caring for a senior loved one can turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of Woodbridge elder care. Services available in our customizable care plans include meal prep, mental and social stimulation, assistance with personal hygiene tasks, and much more.

3. Ensure Healthy Eating

Heart-healthy diets have a positive effect on the brain. Encourage your loved one to eat brain-boosting foods that lower cholesterol, prevent inflammation, and enhance memory. A diet high in fruits and vegetables can reduce the number of uncharged molecules in the body. The antioxidants from these foods protect brain neurons and reduce the amount of cell damage caused by free radicals. In addition to fruits and vegetables, your loved one’s diet should include fatty fish, olive oil, nuts, lean meats, and spices such as turmeric.

4. Prioritize Head Safety

Falling can cause head traumas that have the potential to accelerate Alzheimer’s symptoms. While it’s crucial for your loved one to continue exercising and participating in fun physical activities, he or she needs to protect his or her head at all times by wearing a helmet and other safety gear. Removing the clutter in your loved one’s home can also lower the risk of slips and falls that lead to head traumas.

5. Promote Healthy Sleeping Habits

Aging adults are at a higher risk of pacing, imagining things that aren’t there, and hiding objects from others. The loss of brain cells is one of the contributing factors to the behavioral changes, but the symptoms can also be due to exhaustion. Lack of sleep can immediately increase beta-amyloid proteins in the brain, impairing many of its functions. Make sure your loved one gets at least eight hours of sleep each night. Some of the ways to prevent sleep deprivation in older adults with Alzheimer’s are:

• Avoiding coffee or alcohol 
• Discouraging smoking 
• Encouraging sunlight exposure (specifically morning exposure)
• Not allowing heavy eating before bed
• Maintaining regular sleeping schedules

Being a caregiver for your loved one can be extremely rewarding, but it can also feel overwhelming at times. Alzheimer’s can be challenging for seniors to manage without assistance, and it can be just as challenging for families who don’t have experience in providing Alzheimer’s care. Woodbridge Home Care Assistance provides Alzheimer’s care seniors and their families can depend on. Our proprietary Cognitive Therapeutics Method was designed to help seniors with Alzheimer’s and other memory-related conditions live happier and healthier lives. To hire a dedicated caregiver, call Home Care Assistance at (203) 444-8575 today.