Tips to Coping with a Loved One’s Alzheimer’s
When a family member or close friend has Alzheimer’s it can have an enormous effect of the rest of the family and close friends. This is especially hard for the ones directly involved in caring for the afflicted loved one as they are forced to face the effects of the disease day in and day out. It’s a heartbreaking site to watch a loved one struggle and even more so when their memory fails to comprehend the big things. Here are some tips to coping with life when a loved one suffers from Alzheimer’s.
· First and foremost, don’t be afraid to express the grief you feel. You have got every right to mourn the life you hoped to have with your loved one and to be sad about how your lives have now changed forever. This sadness may sink it when the disease begins to affect, it may begin before. It is perfectly normal to display signs of anticipatory grief and in some cases it can help you and your loved one prepare yourselves for what is to come.
· Develop a routine that allows you to make life easier on the rest of the family or any other caregivers involved. Make note of times a day when the afflicted is less prone to confusion or is more cooperative. Schedule errands, meal times, and any visits accordingly with these times as well.
· Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Caring for a loved one is a 24/7 job that represents an enormous act of selflessness and unconditional love but we are only human. Sometimes the situation, along with any other problems in our lives can get to us. Family and friends are great to have around as things start to get really bad and can help you ease into the transition a lot easier.
· Consult medical professionals. There are often local support groups or organizations you can call for people to talk to that know exactly what you are going through. There are also adult day care services or respite services in case you are the only friend or relative near the afflicted. These people are handy to be in touch with even if you don’t feel you need them as you never know when you might run into an emergency and need someone to substitute care.
· Plan for the future. Be sure to get legal and financial advice as well as any necessary documents in order before the affected becomes less capable. Look into long-term care options and see what is available through health insurance, state agencies, Medicare, etc. Making these kinds of decision during difficult times can be hard and drawn out. It is best to make decisions that everyone is consulted with and agree upon early. On this same note it imperative to have backup plans in case another tragedy occurs. Put away a significant amount of money in case the primary provider may become injured or unable to work whether it is you or another loved one.
Cheryl Swanson is a devoted caregiver and a loving wife and mother. She believes that everyone deserves happiness and independence and works to provide that for everyone that she can. In her free time she writes for www.justwalkers.com, a leading supplier of rollators.
For more resources check out Alzheimer’s Speaks Website