Alzheimer Association Executive Director Ronnie Daniel and Maurice Wells, whose wife had Alzheimer's talked about the disease and how you can provide the best care for your loved one who has it.
Maurice Wells has had an up-close and personal experience caring for his wife. Maurice received support by reaching out to his area Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association and joining a caregiver support group.
It can be overwhelming to take care of a loved one with Alzheimer's disease or another dementia. But the best thing you can do for the person you are caring for is stay physically and emotionally strong. Here's how:
Choosing a new home is an exciting adventure for individuals of all ages. For active seniors, assisted living provides unlimited possibilities to experience a lifestyle filled with social activities, delicious meals, and maintenance-free living.
The choice to move to an assisted living community is one that families often consider as a parent or family member ages. Deciding on the services needed in assisted living is something the community's staff assist the seniors in choosing. Community personnel regularly meet with residents and their families, before moving in and then afterwards, to best meet the person's needs. With 24-hour personalized care, well-trained staff can provide discreet assistance in activities such as grooming, bathing, dressing and medication management.
Often seniors and their families begin searching for an assisted living community when there is a decline in overall ability to complete chores and tasks.
Assisted living is often the right choice for seniors who just need a little help throughout the day to maintain their independence. Caregivers and the potential community member are encouraged to learn more about the services, amenities, and care offered by meeting with the community's representative.
It's never too early to start planning. In fact, some individuals tour 6-12 months before services may be needed so that when the time comes they have made their decision on their next home.
Assisted living may be the best decision if someone is experiencing the following signs:
Making the choice that an aging parent is ready for a senior living facility is not easy. Finding the right place to call their new home can be even harder.
When going through the process of finding an assisted living facility in Richmond, VA that’s the right fit for a parent or other relative, it’s important to be thorough and ask all the right questions. Here are some topics suggested by experts in the field.
1. Quality of life
It’s important not to be swayed by what a facility looks like on the outside, but to see how it functions on the inside. A large percentage of children look at the aesthetics and beauty of the community instead of taking into consideration what’s best for their parents.
Instead, prospective clients should focus on whether the quality of life matches their loved one’s current standards. You go into the food and the amenities that are available.
Negligence is a huge problem in the senior living industry. That’s why it’s crucial to find out the backgrounds of the nurses and staff who work there and to discuss the facility with others already living there. Talk to residents who live there and need the same level of care. You’re going to hear the truth from the people who know what’s happening.
Ask specific questions about care — including about what happens in case of an emergency — and meet with the heads of the nursing departments. Inquire about the nurse/caretaker-to-resident ratio, the ability to dispense drugs and monitor vital signs, and activities available to stimulate body and mind.
What about if seniors need more care down the line? What if a resident becomes sick and needs more help? It’s imperative to figure out what costs will go up in case further assistance is necessary. You don’t want to overspend. Ask, ‘What can I expect in the future in terms of expenses?’
4. Making introductions
When older adults go into assisted-living facilities, they may be scared that they’ll feel isolated because they don’t fit in. To prevent this, visitors should ask if their parents can talk to current residents. It’s always important to meet people so they can relate to one person. I introduce my clients to a few of the residents that live there so they can feel like they can relate to someone.
It may not sound like a deal breaker, but meals matter. Many assisted-living facilities offer a set menu every day. If people are spending a lot of money on a facility, they should know what they’re paying for.
Visitors should ask about the chef — is he a rookie or someone with reputable restaurant experience.
Also, if parents have special food requirements inquire about how accommodating the facility is with its menus. Ask, ‘Is there a set menu or can you order off a menu?’ A lot of places have a limited menu, but that won’t work for someone who has dietary constraints.
It’s up to the children and the concerned family members to ask these questions because seniors are often hesitant to go into facilities. Very few elderly people will wake up and say, ‘I’m ready to go to senior living. It has to be driven by the children because they’re worried about the parents.
There are many reasons behind such worry — even beyond immediate health worries, which can be costly. More than 43 percent of adults older than 60 said they have experienced feelings of loneliness, and older adults who are socially isolated are at higher risk for mental and physical health problems.
The ability to socialize is rejuvenating, to say the least. There are outings and events. It’s a positive way to live versus living in your own home, which is clearly much more isolating. It’s been an excellent experience.
Millions of people are acting as Alzheimer's caregivers to their loved ones. This is a big responsibility and a difficult undertaking for anyone. Unfortunately, so many people acting as caregivers to Alzheimer's patients have no formal caregiver training and must watch and try to help their loved one go through this debilitating disease. The journey for every Alzheimer's caregiver is different, but it is always challenging. Here are some of the most critical tips for Alzheimer's caregivers to remember.
1. Don't Lie to Yourself One of the most important things you can do when you are providing Alzheimer's care is to be honest with yourself. Don't be in denial. It is easy to be in denial when your loved one starts to show serious signs of dementia, but you aren't helping anyone by ignoring or refusing to accept these signs. You need to be honest and capable of accepting the reality in front of you.
2. Don't Argue There is no way to win an argument or use logic to prove a point to someone with dementia. If you disagree, don't argue with them it will only make them upset. Try not to contradict them. Stop. Take a deep breath and remember it is the disease talking. When this happens try to connect with them at their level and move on from the argument.
3. Don't Ask Them Why They Can't Remember This may seem like an obvious point, but it is an important one, and one that many Alzheimer's caregivers unfortunately forget. It can be very heartbreaking when a loved one like a parent who you care for every day, doesn't remember you, but you must stay calm. Don't ask them why or push the subject and just try to accept that this is an unfortunate side effect of their condition.
4. Don't Stop Visiting Them When a loved one no longer remembers who you are or who any of their family members are, many people will stop visiting them. Don't. Just because they don't recognize you or don't recognize their children, it doesn't mean they don't have feelings and don't enjoy the company. It will be difficult but you need to keep visiting them and encouraging others to do the same.
5. Don't Forget to Take Care of Yourself Caring for an individual with Alzheimer's disease is a big undertaking. Even if they are in a facility and you only need to care for them and visit them a few times a week, it can be very overwhelming physically, mentally and emotionally. Many people deal with stress, depression, and guilt if they ever leave town or aren't near their loved one. It is important that you take care of yourself when acting as an Alzheimer's caregiver and that you don't allow this stress and pressure to overwhelm you. You still need to rest, do things for yourself, take vacations, and give yourself much deserved breaks. The better you take care of yourself, the better caregiver you will be for your loved one.
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When it comes to senior assisted living care services in Richmond Va, Spring Arbor Living sets the standard for delivering the quality of life you and your loved ones deserve. We are highly trained and certified to provide senior Alzheimer Care services to Richmond VA and the surrounding areas. Our assisted living service concept is designed to give our residents a sense of community and worth to maximize quality of life, right to privacy, dignity, and independence. Personalized services (to include memory care services throughout Richmond) are emphasized to meet the particular needs and lifestyle choices of each resident in a warm, secure, home-like environment.
Tasks such as cooking, cleaning, laundry and maintenance are provided, plus as-needed assistance with daily personal routines. This allows more time for a person to enjoy the social and recreational activities available at the residence and family outings. The isolation and boredom often experienced by an older adult living alone is replaced with a caring staff, a safe, pleasant environment, and if desired, new friends. In addition, licensed nurses in the building or on call 24 hour per day, provides peace of mind for the resident and their loved ones.
Activities and transportation are scheduled for shopping trips and special activities. Although nursing and physician services are available at the residence, transportation for medical appointments may also be arranged.
Our community offers a variety of apartment styles, the majority being studio apartments, with a 30-day notice usually required if a resident wishes to relocate. Short-term or trial stays are also available and helpful to those who need time to recover after a hospital stay or require care while their caregiver is on vacation or unavailable.
Most assisted living residences have an area within the residence dedicated to the treatment of Alzheimer's and other memory related impairments. In addition to the cost of basic room and board, additional fees are determined after personal assessments are conducted. Consultations with physicians, nursing staff and family members help determine if personal care or medication management is needed.
For more information, contact us at Spring Arbor.