What Do I Do if My Elderly Parent is Diagnosed with Alzheimer’s?

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Alzheimer’s can pose both physical and psychological challenges for aging adults. While the effects of Alzheimer’s aren’t reversible, there may be ways to slow its progression or reduce its effects. Here are some things you can do if your senior loved one develops Alzheimer’s so he or she can enjoy a richer life.

Maintain Routines and Familiarity

People with Alzheimer’s may fare better when their routines stay the same. Changing your loved one’s routine may lead to an increase in confusion and cause agitation. If possible, keep mealtimes the same, and if you’re not the primary caregiver to your loved one, consider hiring an in-home caregiver. When caregivers are switched out on different days of the week, your loved one may become fearful, as he or she may not remember who the person is. Seniors with Alzheimer’s may be distrustful of people they’re unfamiliar with. 

If your loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, help is just a phone call away. For reliable Alzheimer’s care, South Tampa families can turn to Home Care Assistance. We are a leading provider of professional memory care designed to help seniors maintain a higher quality of life. In addition to Alzheimer’s care, we also provide comprehensive dementia, Parkinson’s, and stroke care. From revolutionary care programs to compassionate and dedicated caregivers, we can meet all of your Alzheimer’s home care needs.

Monitor Effects of Medications

Certain prescription medications—such as psychotropic drugs, antihypertensives, and pain relievers—can cause an increase in confusion, depression, and dizziness. These side effects can cause agitation in seniors with Alzheimer’s, so if your loved one acts differently after taking medications, make an appointment with the doctor. Also, if the physician has prescribed a medication used to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s, monitor your loved one’s progress and let the doctor know. If the medication is working, no changes will be made. However, if it isn’t effective, the drug may be discontinued. 

A trained professional caregiver can be a great help when it comes to monitoring your loved one for medication side effects and changes in overall health. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of elder care South Tampa, FL, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

Consider Nutrition

Seniors with Alzheimer’s may have fewer symptoms when they consume healthy diets. If your loved one doesn’t have a robust appetite, talk to the doctor about using supplements. Certain nutrients—such as omega-3 fatty acids, found in fresh fish such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel—may boost brain function in people with cognitive deficits. Before giving your loved one nutritional supplements such as fish oil, get medical clearance first. Taking fish oil, magnesium, or garlic supplements may inhibit platelet aggregation, raising the risk for abnormal bleeding if taken with aspirin or prescription anticoagulants.

Assist with ADLs

Depending on the extent of your loved one’s symptoms, you may need to assist with activities of daily living, or ADLs. While it may be beneficial for your loved one to be as independent as possible, failing to provide assistance to a senior with cognitive deficits may result in hygiene problems, weight loss, and infections. Monitor your loved one while he or she is bathing, dressing, grooming, and eating, then tailor your assistance in accordance with his or her ability level. Allowing your loved one to do as much self-care as possible may raise his or her confidence levels, enhance mobility and flexibility, and boost cognitive health.

If your loved one has dementia or Alzheimer’s, compassionate professional home care is available. Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to South Tampa Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care. If your loved one needs professional care, Home Care Assistance is here to help. Call us today at ‭(813) 488-5804‬ to discuss how we can give you the peace of mind that comes from knowing your loved one is being cared for with professionalism and compassion.

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