Senior Care: Since Alzheimer’s was first discovered in 1906, the number of cases continues to increase.
Between 2000 and 2018, the number of deaths from Alzheimer’s increased by almost 150%. The need for senior care is undeniable as the loss of cognitive skills increases.
Alzheimer’s makes up about 80% of all cases of dementia. As a family caregiver, you may already be experiencing the ups and downs of this disease. It may be early in the diagnosis, and you’re not sure what to expect. This is the time to sit down and make plans with your family for the things that are to come.
Go Over the “What Ifs”
No one wants to talk about the worst-case scenario, but it’s crucial with Alzheimer’s. You need to have a plan of action in place for different situations. It may never happen to your mom or dad, which is great, but if it does, you’ll be thankful that you’re prepared.
Some of the “what ifs” to bring up include these aspects of the disease that people don’t often realize are common.
- Aggression – Can lead to verbal and physical abuse of the family caregiver
- Delusions/paranoia – May cause your parent to become agitated that you’re not seeing it
- Incontinence – Both bladder and bowel control occurs
- Insomnia – Some stop sleeping more than a couple of hours here and there
- Loss of ambulation – The need for a wheelchair or staying in bed 24/7
- Talk of suicide – Depression and talk of killing themselves is hard to listen to day in and day out, and medications may be necessary to reduce this symptom
- Wandering – Constant supervision is needed to avoid your parent walking away when you’re sleeping
Talk About Family Caregiver Needs
The average age of a family caregiver is 49. At that age, you’re still working and saving for your retirement. Can you afford to quit your job or switch to part-time hours while caring for a parent with Alzheimer’s?
Alzheimer’s patients can live for up to 20 years after the diagnosis. If your mom or dad needs care for a decade, can you still afford to put your career on hold for that long? You have to think of all aspects, including income loss, retirement savings, and health and dental insurance.
Senior home care will become essential in your parent’s care plan after an Alzheimer’s diagnosis. It can seem best to take care of your mom or dad on your own, but people don’t often understand the symptoms that appear in the middle and late stages.
You have to take breaks. The best way to do that is by arranging respite care services. Call a senior care agency to learn more about respite care options.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Senior Care in Lake Oswego, OR, please contact the caring staff at Integrity In-Home Care. Call today (503) 660-3755