How to deal with an elderly parent with Alzheimer’s?
This question is quite normal since Alzheimer’s disease can be difficult both for the person affected but also for relatives and family. Feeling like our heads are playing tricks on us all the time is certainly not easy. Unfortunately, seeing an elderly person lose his or her independence and have frequent memory lapses due to Alzheimer’s is no more. Be aware, however, that there are ways to be well equipped. Knowing what to do and how to deal with an elderly parent with Alzheimer’s will help you better support your loved ones and provide them with the support they need.
Memory loss or Alzheimer’s?
Occasional memory loss can happen to anyone! With age, memory problems tend to become more frequent. Fortunately, not all of these cases will be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Before worrying too much, it is therefore important to note whether these oversights in your elderly parent are frequent and if they seem to interfere with their daily life. If in doubt about the presence of Alzheimer’s symptoms, it is essential to consult the family doctor who can make a diagnosis or refer you to a specialist doctor if necessary.
Memory loss due to normal aging
No matter what age, everyone has little momentary forgetfulness. Not remembering a password or hesitating when dialing a friend’s phone number are just examples. As the blown out candles accumulate, the chances of memory playing tricks on us also increase. It may become more difficult to remember certain events from the past or certain names, for example. While it’s natural to fear that it could be Alzheimer’s disease, these symptoms are often due to normal aging. We will then talk about memory disorders related to age. Although the vast majority retain good memories as they age, it is normal for the brain to undergo certain changes as we age. Just like the rest of the body!
It is therefore estimated that around 40% of older people face memory problems. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), this figure drops to about 5-8% when it comes to a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or another neurocognitive disorder.
Alzheimer’s disease and its symptoms
Alzheimer’s disease, as it progresses, will have a greater impact on the lifestyle habits of the elderly who have it. Like other neurocognitive disorders, this disease therefore affects daily tasks more. It could go so far as to prevent you from performing actions that were quite familiar to you. Although more common after the age of 65, early-onset Alzheimer’s also exists. No matter what age, for an elderly person or for a younger person, Alzheimer’s is a difficult reality.
Depending on the stage, Alzheimer’s causes different symptoms. Here are some signs of memory loss due to a neurocognitive disorder like Alzheimer’s:
- Have difficulty learning new things;
- Face limitations in daily tasks;
- Forgetting frequently;
- Having difficulty remembering recent events, etc.
Although these signs are suggestive of the possibility of suffering from Alzheimer’s, the causes of memory problems are diverse and numerous. It is therefore important to go see a doctor who can see to making a true diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, depending on the case. Treatment can then be offered accordingly.
Approach the subject with delicacy
Alzheimer’s, by definition, involves changes in the cognitive functions of the brain. Over time, this therefore results in a certain loss of autonomy and independence. In addition, those affected may not be aware of this problem or exhibit some denial. It sometimes becomes difficult to talk about such a subject with an elder in your circle.
Alzheimer’s: hereditary or not?
To bring up such a delicate subject with your elderly parent, you will need to be reassuring in your approach. To reassure yourself first, know that the familial form of Alzheimer’s disease only represents about 1% of cases. These hereditary forms are therefore very rare.
How do you go about bringing the matter up the right way with your elderly parent with Alzheimer’s?
Here are some tips for gently approaching the issue of this disease with those close to you who have Alzheimer’s.
- Think about finding the right time first. No need to rush things and discuss such topics when the person is already stressed or tense.
- Adopt a reassuring tone and use positive wording. Directly telling an elderly person with loss of autonomy that they can no longer stay at home because they are unable to perform certain tasks can be difficult to accept. We should therefore better present the whole by showing him the interesting services that are offered in a residence designed for elderly people with Alzheimer’s, for example.
- Pay particular attention to the non-verbal and the gestures of the person.
- Be patient and listen carefully!
Above all, make sure you have good people around, this is still one of the best ways to deal with an elderly parent with Alzheimer’s. In order to provide all the support your loved one needs, you need to receive help from others. They can be other family members or relatives. It goes without saying that doctors and nurses also play an important role. In addition to the healthcare team, other caregivers can also help you.
At Visavie, our professional caregivers and residential counselors are available to answer your questions.
Support your elderly parent with Alzheimer’s
Is it possible for a person with Alzheimer’s to stay at home? The answer to this question is not universal. In any case, it is very likely that your elderly relative with this neurodegenerative disease needs help. At home and in residence, various services exist to help them!
Home help may be an option for your elderly parent
Even though living with a neurocognitive disorder at one time or another means a loss of autonomy, some people can still stay at home. Alzheimer’s disease, we know, can affect simple, everyday tasks. It therefore becomes essential that the person who stays at home can benefit from good support. Caregivers undoubtedly play a key role. Be aware, however, that professional helpers can also supervise you.
With Visavie, you will benefit from a personalized home care service as needed. With the necessary supervision, home support remains a very valid option for some elderly people despite a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s.
Accompany your elderly parents to a residence for people with Alzheimer’s
For the safety and well-being of your elderly parents who are dear to you, you may consider accompanying them to a retirement home. Moving to a center for people with Alzheimer’s may be the best decision for your loved one. He will benefit from the care and services of the healthcare team directly on site. Living in a residence with Alzheimer’s can save a person with many worries and fears. Despite this disease, it is possible to maintain the best possible quality of life for the elderly people around us.
Visavie offers you a free support service in your search to find a residence that will best meet the needs of your elderly parent.
For home help offered to a person with Alzheimer’s disease or to find a tailor-made seniors’ residence, Visavie can help you! Our team is dedicated to ensuring that your parent can live in a safe and pleasant environment!