Many families encounter challenges adjusting to life after a loved one is diagnosed with dementia. Unfortunately, the adjustments often never end. The majority of dementia cases—including those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease—worsen over time. Symptoms of middle and late-stage dementia differ from early stages. That means that as the symptoms worsen, it can pose severe hazards for seniors and everyone living at home.
Most Alzheimer’s patients prefer to remain in their homes, which can be challenging for those that live within the same household. While symptoms vary from each patient, Alzheimer’s often affects judgment, awareness of time and place, temperament, and physical capacities such as balance. These changes in the body and brain might make it difficult for seniors to stay safe even when living with family members.
What Can I Do to Manage Living with a Person Suffering from Alzheimer’s?
Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s can be exhausting, especially when you choose not to understand the situation. However, it is possible to adapt along with a loved one suffering from Alzheimer’s to ensure they can still enjoy a good quality of life. To prioritize your loved one’s safety, check out these tips addressed in specific issues:
Unfollowed Medication Schedules
The early to middle stages of Alzheimer’s can lead to difficulty in monitoring medications. Fortunately, there are numerous approaches to address this concern. Medication management guides these days that can help track and monitor schedules. Pillboxes are good options and keep prescribed medicine organized. Some even include a date and time to assist your parents in keeping track of their medication timetable. Furthermore, numerous reminder apps on mobile devices can initiate an alert when taking prescription drugs.
When Alzheimer’s disease is in its early stages, getting lost when traveling is expected. However, it can worsen and escalate to a severe level later on. Patients who have Alzheimer’s may go missing, wander into traffic, or work in physical industries in extreme circumstances. Wandering implies the requirement for round-the-clock supervision.
If your loved one is prone to wandering off, consider installing an alarm system and locking outdoor doors while ensuring round-the-clock supervision. Encourage your older loved ones to wear a tracking bracelet and carry identification to alleviate this anxiety. Notify local authorities and neighbors as soon as possible if your loved one wanders frequently, and save a recent photo of them if unsupervised travel occurs.
Alzheimer’s is often noticed when an individual drifts off before completing a relatively simple task, such as cooking. Unfortunately, the results can be disastrous. If the kitchen catches fire, your loved one—not to mention your home and household—is in danger.
If your loved one can no longer perform tasks on their own, discourage them from cooking. To keep them from acquiring burns in the kitchen, practice safety steps. Install auto shut-off mechanisms on your kitchen devices. Place signages to remind seniors to switch off the stove and oven to minimize fires and burns. Plug unused electrical outlets and examine smoke detectors regularly.
Besides being fire hazards, kitchen areas pose risks to older people who may fall and injure themselves. They also contain many tools and devices that can be dangerous if they trip and fall. Avoid this by turning pot handles inward. You can also buy two-handled pans for simple, steady lifting. Furthermore, keep the kitchen clean and clutter-free at all times.
Every year, millions of older citizens are sent to the emergency due to a bad fall. That is because issues with balance and coordination are common in the early and middle stages of Alzheimer’s. These slips can result in anything from a brain injury to a hip fracture or even death.
Create ways to help fall prevention for elders living with you. Doing this will avert potentially fatal events. Refrain from using trip risks such as carpets, electrical wires, and low tables. Installing grab bars and handrails or encouraging your loved one to use a walker are both excellent options. It will also be beneficial if basic necessities like tissues or a glass of water are within reach of the bed.
Alzheimer’s disease is a mental health issue with increased anxiety, hallucinations, and aggressiveness. As a result, it can impair a person’s ability to handle a weapon safely. People with Alzheimer’s pose a possible risk to themselves and family members, especially when they have easy access to any firearm. Discuss these concerns early in the diagnosis, when elders have better knowledge and communication skills. Set a mutually agreed-upon retirement date for giving up guns to ensure the safety of everybody.
Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s can be pretty challenging. However, as long as you understand their situation and are willing to go beyond the extra mile, these challenges can be easily mitigated. Creating a space where your elderly parents or loved ones can still thrive despite their mental conditions can be the best approach in living lovingly with them!
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