Home care for Alzheimer’s patients is very stressful and can bring about a variety of health problems for the home caregiver. In order to successfully care your loved one with Alzheimer’s make sure to take care of yourself.
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Illnesses Caused by Alzheimer’s Home Care
The increase in health problems is due to a range of factors including: increased stress and the loss of social, emotional, and financial support. Some home caregivers may turn to alcohol, start suffering from poor hearing or eyesight or their own fading memory. This is because Alzheimer’s home care can range from a few years to over 20 years and can consume over 100 hours a week, leaving the home caregiver drained of both physical and emotional energy. In the final stages, this care often requires 24-hour support, which is impossible for one individual.
Help for Alzheimer’s Home Caregivers
One of the hardest things to do is to watch your loved one slowly slip away. To add to all the stresses of Alzheimer’s home care, it causes emotional, physical, and financial stress. Knowing what support is available and how to take care of yourself as a home caregiver for an Alzheimer’s patient is vital to your health.
There are several things you can do that will help alleviate the stress related to Alzheimer’s home care. They are:
* Family support and education – learning how to adjust to personality changes and knowing what to expect can make a big difference in the home care of an Alzheimer’s patient. Get involved with local organizations to learn what causes Alzheimer’s and how to manage the disease. Also look for temporary programs that can provide the home care support you need to have time away from the person with Alzheimer’s.
* Learning to communicate with an Alzheimer’s patient – Often the Alzheimer’s patient remembers the past more easily than the present. Learn to communicate on a level that is easy for them to understand.
* Using therapeutic activities – Music therapy, former hobbies, pets, and establishing routines can help to alleviate the stress caused by the behavior of an Alzheimer’s patient.
* Modifying your home – At first, changes may be simple adjustments (such as keeping often used items in a specific place, labeling doors or drawers, or using notes and timers to remind the person to do certain things). As Alzheimer’s progresses, extensive measures may be necessary to ensure the person’s safety and help reduce problematic behaviors in their home.
* Diet and exercise – Reducing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s is reliant on good health. Making sure the Alzheimer’s patient has a good nutritional diet and gets regular exercise is one of the most important factors in home care.