Alzheimer’s is hitting close to home. Your mom or dad is diagnosed with it, and you’re not sure where to go from here. How do you know when it’s time to bring in a caregiver? Here are some questions you need to ask yourself.
What Difficulties Does Your Parent Have?
Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease. Symptoms may start out with some forgetfulness. As it progresses, your parent may forget to take medications, forget when he or she last ate, become agitated easily, and believe that neighbors are a threat. When your parent is forgetting to pay bills or take medications, help is necessary. Phone call reminders are a good start, but there’s no way to ensure tasks were completed without physically being there.
Once your parent is wandering or dealing with incontinence, around-the-clock care may be required. You may take some of the caregiving duties, but can you do it all? Your job, your kids, and your own personal life often intervene. If you try to do too much, you’ll burn out.
Another concern is violence. When a person with Alzheimer’s finds a stranger in his or home, aggression and hostility are common reactions. Your mom or dad may forget who you are and grab a knife or baseball bat and try to attack the “intruder.” You need help from a professional when Alzheimer’s reaches this point.
What Does Your Mom or Dad’s Doctor Say?
Your mom or dad’s doctor has insight into how quickly Alzheimer’s is progressing. Use the professional’s insight to determine how much assistance your parent needs around the home. Home care services like medication reminders and transportation may be all that’s needed at first. As the disease progresses, help with meal preparation and personal care get added to the list.
How Well Are You Managing?
Even with others helping provide care, do you feel stressed? Are you struggling with stress, ignoring your own health, and avoiding sleep to get everything done at your home and your parent’s home? If you’re feeling overwhelmed, you need to hire extra help. By giving yourself breaks, you’ll be calmer when it’s your turn to care for your mom or dad again.
Involve your mom or dad in the interview process. It helps if your parent is comfortable with the caregivers entering the family home. Arranging home care services while they still have cognitive skills is a good way to make sure you do not overwhelm your parent. Call a home care agency now to discuss the many ways caregivers can help with Alzheimer’s care.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering caregivers in Los Gatos, CA, please contact the caring staff at Bay Area Home Care. Call today 650-938-4031.