In honor of November’s National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness month, Sharon Roth Maguire, a geriatric nurse practitioner and vice president of quality and clinical operations for BrightStar Senior Living® put together a list of tips to help families that are caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease:
- Recognize what’s normal. Forgetfulness is a common symptom of aging and isn’t always the result of Alzheimer’s or dementia. While forgetting what you had for dinner last night may be a typical slip of memory, forgetting how to prepare a favorite meal or putting things in unusual places are likely symptoms of something more serious. It’s important to make the distinction between what is normal and what is not.
- Record changes. Keep track of any changes in behavior and be prepared to explain the differences to the caregiver team. While changes may seem insubstantial, they could signify a decline in your loved one’s health or in many instances, another illness super-imposed on top of the underlying dementia.
- Be supportive. Listen to your loved one and respect their needs. Coping with the diagnosis, symptoms and an overall lifestyle change can be extremely difficult. Keep communication open and make sure everyone involved in the care process can communicate their needs, emotions and even frustrations effectively. Although it may be difficult to talk openly, it can greatly relieve stress.
- Put together a team. Staff at BrightStar receive specific, ongoing Memory Care training and can become certified in BrightStar Connections, our Person-Centered Approach of a Higher Standard of Memory Care. Regular assessments performed by a nurse take each resident’s physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and social needs into consideration to promote optimal wellness and purposeful approaches to behavioral expressions day in and day out.
For more information on how BrightStar Senior Living can help you care for a loved one living with Alzheimer’s Disease or another form of dementia, call Bonnie at 608-620-7900.