Your loved one has been diagnosed with a serious illness and you have decided to take care for her or him at home. Depending on your loved one’s illness and its severity, as well as the prognosis for future decline, you will have a tough road ahead of you, yet with some planning, ample help, and smart usage of the community resources available to you, this experience will be rewarding to both you and your loved one. In addition to the foregoing, you will be able to supply the dignity, quality one on one care, and whole-person care that your loved one would not be able to receive in an institutional setting.
Here are four tried and true tips to make the most of your loved one’s care at home and ensuring in the process that her or his quality of life is preserved to the maximum amount possible:
1. Plan activities. The mistaken mental picture of many about care giving in the home is that of the loved one lying in a big bed resting. This may be true for a portion of the time, but not on a consistent basis. As a matter of fact, you and your loved one will be able to enjoy many activities together! Not only do these activities help your loved one to preserve a sense of self-esteem, but they will also provide something to look forward to. Obviously, you will want to make sure that you engage in activities that your loved one is physically capable of enjoying while also being of interest to her or him. For example, if your loved one loves to go to the mall, you may wish to plan such outings frequently. Many times wheelchairs may be rented, and you may spend a rather enjoyable day window-shopping. Of course, if she or he does not enjoy this kind of activity, such an outing would do nothing to make the day fun. Find things you and your loved one both enjoy and then plan on doing them together as often as possible.
2. Depending on the illness of your loved one, there are times when her or his mental faculties may diminish. For example, an Alzheimer’s sufferer, or any other patient who suffers from a form of dementia, will experience a decrease in the ability to effectively communicate. At first you may realize that your loved one is searching for the correct word, but later on she or he may have trouble with keeping focus or following her or his train of thought. In times like these it is important to be prepared and keep the conversations easy and without frustrations. You may wish to use shorter sentences yourself, only convey one idea per sentence, keep good eye contact, smile encouragingly, and allow your loved one the time she or he needs to communicate her thoughts.
3. Depending on the illness, your loved one may be confused about safe and dangerous substances. It is best to corral hazardous substances, such as paint, paint thinner, chemicals, cleaners, and anything else that may be harmful is ingested, in one location and you may then wish to keep that cabinet under lock and key. Similarly, because of the confusion your loved one may suffer, it is a good idea to monitor her or his intake of medication to ensure that she or he does not take the prescribed doses twice or more time per day.
4. Prepare your home, or your loved one’s home, in advance of the arrival of your loved one. For example, the bathroom may need to be fitted with grab bars and a shower chair, throw rugs may need to be removed or taped down to prevent slipping, furniture may need to be moved or even removed to allow movement with a wheelchair and walker, and stairs may need to be gated off to avoid serious accidents. Planning for these situations ahead of time will make the transition of the loved one into your home easier for you both, and quite possibly also much more enjoyable.
As you can see, caring for your loved one at home is challenging just as much as it is deeply rewarding. With some planning and with the help of professionals or friends and family, this experience can be wonderful for you both and be the best kind of care your loved one could wish for.
What is Alzheimer’s?
What is Alzheimer’s? Patients often attribute the symptoms of Alzheimer’s to simply “getting old,” or in most cases, they may be ... what-is-alzheimers.php
The ability to treat some forms of dementia highlights the importance of patients seeing a doctor soon after the appearance of their ... alzheimers-medications.php
Being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease is scary for patients and their loved ones. The diagnosis means that life will change ...
Alzheimer’s is one of the more difficult diseases for families to care for. That is why more and more people are turning to what’s ... alzheimers-care.php
Dementia Alzheimer’s disease
Dementia is best described as a loss of intellectual or cognitive (thinking) functions within the brain. Those who suffer dementia ... dementia-alzheimers-disease.php