A parent’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis can be a devastating event both for them and their family members. There is fear, sadness and even a sense of loss that people often go through after the diagnosis. And even if they are in the early stages, there is still that nagging thought of what’s to come and what you can expect as they deteriorate over time. So, what can you, as an adult child, do to help your parent live their best life while coping with Alzheimer’s? There are several steps you can take that can make a positive difference in their life.
Make Sure to Treat Them with Dignity
For the person suffering from Alzheimer’s, it can feel as though there is a loss of respect and dignity from others. You may not even realize your behavior and attitude towards your parent has changed, but they may sense it. This can cause even more stress for your parent. Be sure to always treat your parent with dignity and respect, no matter the situation or symptoms they are experiencing.
Create a Routine That is Simple and Manageable
A routine or a daily schedule is incredibly important for those suffering from Alzheimer’s. They need to have a constant that they feel comfortable with. Some of the items that should be in the daily routine include mealtimes, getting washed and dressed, exercise, appointments or errands and so forth. It can also be helpful to write down the schedule so they can refer to it.
Give Them Opportunities to Socialize
Just because your parent has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, doesn’t mean everything in their life changes all at once. If they are still in the early stages, there is a good that chance their daily activities may not be too affected. That means they will have the desire to be active and social with friends and family. You can help to set up social gatherings, sign them up for a senior’s club and more.
Can Your Parent Live with You?
Here’s a big question that you may be faced with, and it requires lots of thought. Because your parent will likely need attention and care for most of the day, it may be wise to move them in with you. If you’re at home, you will have eyes on them, or you can hire a home care worker to come in and assist.
Consider a Long-Term Care Residence with Memory Care
Depending on how far along your parent’s Alzheimer’s is, and whether or not you can have them move in with you, things may progress to the point where a long-term care facility makes the most sense. This can be the safest and healthiest place for your parent to be. If that’s the case, be sure to specifically search for a “memory care unit near me”, as these facilities have the knowledge and skills needed for those residents with Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Even though Alzheimer’s is a very scary and stressful diagnosis, it doesn’t mean that all is lost. The hope is that your parent’s condition progresses slowly, giving everyone time to adapt and set up a lifestyle that works for them.