It’s Also a Great Time to Show Support for Caregivers!

The year 2020 has shown us in no uncertain terms that we have many unsung heroes in our midst who deserve recognition. What better time to do so than during the month of thanks, November? To commemorate Alzheimer’s Awareness Month in November, we extend thanksgiving and gratitude to the staff that goes above and beyond the call of duty each day. We appreciate our team at Wesley Enhanced Living for their dedication to our residents, whether they are living with Alzheimer’s or just need assistance from time to time as they continue to live independently in one of our senior living communities.

Are You Caring for a Loved One with Alzheimer’s? Here Are Some Dos and Don’ts to Help You

Alzheimer’s takes away a person’s ability to remember and make daily decisions. Imagine being the spouse or child on the receiving end of blank stares and fearful reactions. Being a caregiver is hard work, but the rewards are worth it. The caring staff at Wesley Enhanced Living understands the plight of couples and families caring for an Alzheimer’s patient. Our memory care specialists work with you to ensure that your loved one gets the care and support they need. 

If you are caring for an Alzheimer’s patient, follow these simple CARE (Communication, Attitude, Response, Evolve) tips to help you provide better care and ease the stress for your patient and yourself.   

  1. Communication. Changing the way you communicate is perhaps the most essential step for you as an Alzheimer’s caregiver. It is important that you:
    –  DO make your patient feel safe and comfortable around you rather than stressed.
    DON’T be frustrated as you deal with their emotions and even tantrums.
    DO keep your communication simple, clear, and short, so that your patient is not confused.
    DON’T speak too fast as your patient may lose focus and get nervous.
    DO introduce yourself if you find the patient is not recognizing you.
    DON’T hesitate to repeat yourself and explain what you’re trying to say in simpler terms, if you observe that you are not understood the first time.
    DO smile, address the patient by name, using warm gestures and comforting body language.
    DON’T ask open-ended questions. Make it easy to answer you with a “Yes/No.”
  2. Attitude. How you make your patient feel is often more important than the words you use. DO keep a positive attitude by being patient, empathetic, and comforting. DON’T judgethepatient’s attitude and force your own upon them. You are in a position to adjust your attitude suitably, while they are not.
  1. Response. The way you react and respond to the Alzheimer’s patient in your care has a huge influence on how rapidly their condition deteriorates or how slowly it progresses. DO try to diffuse a situation by distracting the patient rather than arguing or confronting them in an aggressive manner. If your patient is bustling around getting ready to go grocery shopping, DON’T tell her she shouldn’t go, as it may cause her to be agitated. Instead, if you tried to distract her by saying, “Let’s check what we have in the fridge and pantry, so we can cook up a nice meal or snack together.” The distraction will give her something positive to focus on and she will feel productive rather than forced to remain inactive.       
  2. Evolve. Did you know that Alzheimer’s patients may have lived with the disease for about 20 years before their symptoms become apparent? The changes are so slight that they may not be noticed for decades. This disease is also progressive. As a caregiver, DO evolve your method of caregiving according to your patient’s needs as their disease progresses. DON’T make the mistake of continuing caregiving as you did before, if you find that it’s no longer effective. Make small changes to see what works, what doesn’t.

With more than 5 million Americans living with the disease, we need to be on the leading edge of awareness. It’s important to learn as much as you can about the disease and share your knowledge with other members of your family and social circle who can support you in your caregiving duties. 

Care and Support for All Stages of Senior Aging Awaits at Wesley Enhanced Living

Age is only a number, until your body revolts. There is no need to give up and throw your hands in the air when you can get the best care possible to live life to the fullest. Whether you need care for yourself or are seeking assistance for a loved one, we can help. Choose an independent living, personal care, or rehabilitation, and skilled nursing community at Wesley Enhanced Living and learn for yourself why our seniors pick us. We continually strive to give all our residents everything they deserve to live life fully in all stages of aging. 

Wesley Enhanced Living provides high-quality senior retirement communities for you or your loved ones.  Contact one of our Philadelphia area locations and find out why our seniors love where they live. Our staff is happy to discuss your elder’s needs or your own and inform you of our range of services. Virtual tours are now available. Call us today for more information.