June holds the longest day of the year. It's a day filled with light and brightness. That's why Alzheimer's & Brain Awareness Month falls in June. Alzheimer's can be a dark, gloomy disease for families to navigate, so The Longest Day became an annual day of fundraising and fighting to find a cure.
You're new to Alzheimer's. Your mom was just diagnosed. What are the first things your family should prepare for as your mom navigates this prevalent disease? How can in-home care help your senior parent handle the side effects of Alzheimer's?
Not Everyone Has the Same Symptoms
While some of the symptoms of Alzheimer's are similar between people, not everyone experiences them. Your mom may wander, but she might not. She may experience agitation and anger, but some people never go through that.
What does tend to be common is the progressive loss of motor skills and mobility. Towards the end stages, your mom may struggle to hold a spoon or fork. She can't get food to her mouth without eating with her hands. She'll eventually need a walker or even a wheelchair to get around.
The Disease Progresses Fast at Times and Slow at Others
How long Alzheimer's lasts also varies. Some people have it for five years, while others have it for 10 to 20. Your mom may go through a phase where she worsens at a faster rate than before, but then it seems to pause and stay stable for months.
The average lifespan after being diagnosed with Alzheimer's is eight years, but you can't expect that to be the case with your mom. You have to learn to take each day as it comes.
It's Important to Talk About It
Don't bottle up how you're feeling. If you're out shopping and your mom is having a rougher day than usual, be vocal so that others in the store know her comments or actions are due to the disease. Tell her neighbors and family friends.
Not only does this help buffer reactions if your mom does say something cruel to a neighbor, but it gives you the chance to vent. You may find that others know what you're experiencing and are happy to talk about it or become your sounding board.
In-Home Care Can Help Struggling Family Caregivers
Most importantly, take breaks. While you're caring for your mom, don't forget about self-care. If you're always cooking meals, redirecting your mom, or following her on walks to make sure she gets home okay, it's easy to lose track of the things you want or need.
Embrace respite care services. They're the best way to have a day off to sleep in, visit friends, or relax at home with some movies and a takeout pizza. You need the chance to recharge, and respite care provides that break.
In-home care services are important for helping your mom. Plus, caregivers help the rest of the family as they provide the care your mom needs. Talk to a home care agency about in-home care services and how they can help your mom as her battle against Alzheimer's progresses.
If you or an aging loved one are considering non-medical in-home care in Scarsdale and Yonkers, NY, call Griswold Home Care
and speak to one of our caring staff members today. Call (914) 768-9065