5 Ways to Help Older Family Members With Alzheimer’s Disease

2 Mins read

According to the CDC, there are 5.7 million Americans that have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease. By 2050 it is estimated that 14 million people will have Alzheimer’s Disease. The odds of a parent or other loved one being diagnosed with this disease is very high. Luckily, there are five ways you can help older family members suffering from Alzheimer’s.

1. Learn As Much As You Can

There is always new information available about Alzheimer’s Disease. The research is ongoing, which means that the information is always changing. Learning all that you can about this debilitating disease is one way you can help your parent or senior loved one choose the right care and treatments. Understanding the disease and what to expect can help you to better plan for your parent or another family member.

Knowledge is power when it comes to any type of disease. It can help you and your parent or family members to make informed decisions based on research and facts.

2. Create a Card That You Can Hand to People in Public

NIA Alzheimer’s recommends that caregivers and others that will be in a public space with someone with Alzheimer’s create a card that states “My parent has Alzheimer’s. They may say or do things that are not expected. Thank you for understanding.” This can keep you from having to explain over and over that your parent has Alzheimer’s, and can save your parent the embarrassment of hearing you say it over and over.

Unfortunately, it is estimated by the NIA Alzheimer’s that one out of every eight adults over the age of 65 has this disease. It is common and people do understand if you give them a chance.

3. Understand the Treatment Options

There are some treatment options that can help your parent with Alzheimer’s. Some of the treatments are alternative, while others are more mainstream. For example, the Moringa leaf has shown some promise. It is high in Vitamin E and C which may combat some of the oxidative stress connected to Alzheimer’s, according to Nature’s Way magazine.

When you are evaluating treatment options for your parent or another family member, make sure you do your research and consult with your loved one’s medical team before you make any decisions. Unfortunately, there are people that will try to take advantage of your desperation to find a treatment option that will work.

4. Encourage Family and Friends to Keep in Touch

Watching someone you love decline from Alzheimer’s Disease is not easy. It can be very painful when a parent seemingly forgets important moments in your life, but keep in mind it is not personal. You should spend as much time with your parent or loved one as possible. Plan outings and activities for the time of day when they are at their best. Ask friends and family members to stay in touch and visit. Video chatting is a great option for out-of-town family and friends to stay in touch.

5. Prepare for the Future

You should have a plan B in place for your parent for the time when their safety cannot be assured at home any longer. Memory care facilities can be a great solution for when your parent can no longer live at home. Assisted living facilities are also another great option. They offer a range of services, from assistance with daily hygiene to more intensive care when it is needed. According to the Department of Aging, 66.1% of assisted living facilities also provide skilled nursing services as needed.

The worst thing you can do after a parent or loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease is to do nothing. Lean on friends and family members when you need to. Take advantage of all the resources that you can. When a parent or loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s it affects everyone that loves them, but there are things you can do. Learn more about Alzheimer’s Disease and the support that is available.

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