Elder Care: Long-distance family caregivers struggle with being there for their parents.
When your mom has Alzheimer’s and you live hours away, it’s crucial to have a strong support system such as elder care for the final stages of Alzheimer’s. It’s a challenging disease, and the last months are hard both physically and emotionally.
In the final stages of Alzheimer’s, your mom may start refusing food, struggling to swallow, and finding it impossible to walk. She’ll be in her bed all day, sleeping for the majority of the day, and unable to talk. No one wants to see their parent like this, but it’s how the disease progresses for many.
What Care Does Your Mom Need?
Your mom will need someone to help her bathe. She may not cooperate, so you need some muscle to lift her from a wheelchair to a shower seat. A hand-held shower wand is incredibly helpful at this point.
After her shower, apply a moisturizer to her skin. That keeps her skin from drying out and cracking. It can also help you spot any sores forming on her pressure points.
If she’s still able and interested in eating, she may just need someone to get the food to her mouth. Soft foods are easier to swallow. Offer her sips of water if she wants them, but don’t push her into anything as you don’t want her choking.
Dressing Your Mom in the Final Stages of Alzheimer’s
Incontinence is likely. Your mom won’t have bladder or bowel control and needs absorbent underwear in place. To make it easy to change her and clean her up, loose clothing like nightgowns and pants with elastic waistbands are best.
Buy shirts with snaps on the shoulders and down the back. They’re easier to get them on and off. You can find suitable clothing in many specialty clothing sites for senior care. Soft materials that aren’t scratchy and can be machine washed are ideal for Alzheimer’s care.
Elder Care: Arrange In-Home Care to Ensure You Have Space to Decompress
Support your family by hiring in-home care aides who specialize in memory care. As tempting as it is to do everything yourself, you need to take breaks.
You need to be able to walk away and recharge. It’s important to attend support groups or therapy sessions to lower your stress. Elder care aides offer respite care, giving you the chance to visit friends, sleep in, or take a long walk as you decompress. When you return, you’ll be ready to spend quality time with your mom.