Alzheimer’s caregivers in Richmond, VA may not realize all the resources available as they navigate the world of caring for a loved one with dementia.
Are you an adult child or family caregiver looking after a family member with Alzheimer’s?
Do you know how to help someone with Alzheimer’s disease?
Have you been looking for an Alzheimer’s caregivers guide?
Caring for an Alzheimer’s patient can be rewarding and challenging, especially if the person with Alzheimer’s is a spouse, parent, or another close relative.
In this article, we’re sharing tips for Alzheimer’s caregivers so that you’ll know how to care for someone with Alzheimer’s. We’ll also provide information on how to find the best in-home dementia care in Richmond, VA.
Keep reading to learn more about Alzheimer’s care and how to find an Alzheimer’s caregiver in Richmond.
What is Alzheimer’s Disease?
Dementia is the general term for any type of memory loss, and Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia. Alzheimer’s disease affects a person’s memory, thinking, and behavior. The exact cause of Alzheimer’s is still unknown, and there are no treatments or cures.
Slowed thinking and difficulty remembering new information like names, dates, or places is the first sign of Alzheimer’s. Over time, symptoms may include:
- Mood and behavior changes
- Greater confusion about events, times, and places
- DIfficulty remembering family or friends
- More severe memory loss and behavior changes
- Difficulty speaking, swallowing, and walking
Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease, meaning that its symptoms start slowly and become worse over time. In the early stages, memory loss is mild, and an individual with dementia can still function independently. Eventually, Alzheimer’s disease can grow severe enough to interfere with an individual’s daily life tasks. In the late stages, family caregivers often feel unable to provide the Alzheimer’s care their loved ones need and choose to seek trained Alzheimer’s caretakers to offer extra assistance.
Until the late stages, family caregivers may simply need some tips to help them better know how to care for someone with Alzheimer’s disease.
4 Tips for Alzheimer’s Caregivers
Receiving tips and information on available resources can be helpful as you navigate caring for someone with Alzheimer’s or another dementia-related disease.
Below we’ve created an Alzheimer’s caregivers guide with five expert tips to alleviate some burdens of caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s.
Tip #1: Personal Preparation
As much as possible, prepare yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally for the caregiving journey. Providing Alzheimer’s care for a loved one will come with many challenges, but knowing what to expect and understanding the disease can go a long way.
Preparation may include:
- Reading articles about Alzheimer’s
- Talking with medical professionals
- Speaking with other Alzheimer’s caregivers about their experiences
- Getting your personal affairs in order
The more you can prepare for the upcoming caregiving task, the more confident you’ll be when the time comes to provide care.
Tip #2: Home Safety and Readiness
Another practical step to take when gearing up to care for a loved one with dementia is to prepare your or your loved one’s home properly.
In the early stages of Alzheimer’s, forgetfulness is the number one symptom. Your loved one will start forgetting events, names, places, and where they placed certain items. Some ways to keep you and your loved one free from some frustration could include:
- Buying duplicates of commonly used household items
- Putting up sticky notes/reminders in personal areas
- Creating a daily list of tasks to accomplish
- Writing events on a large, accessible calendar
- Implementing routines
Household preparation also means home safety. You should consider:
- Cleaning up clutter
- Removing throw rugs or other tripping hazards
- Tightening or installing handrails
- Increasing household lighting
Anything you can do to create a space that’s clean, accessible, and well-lit will make your home a safe place for your loved one as Alzheimer’s progresses.
Tip #3: Self Care
The third tip in our Alzheimer’s caregivers guide is personal care. Personal care cannot be overstated and is vitally important for any family caregiver.
To best care for your loved one, you need to maintain a certain level of self-care. Personal care can mean different things for different people, but often it includes:
- Getting adequate rest
- Exercising regularly or taking part in hobbies
- Setting aside time for family and friends
- Managing stress and anxiety
- Handling personal responsibilities
- Attending personal medical, dental, or other appointments
Lack of personal care can lead to exhaustion, tiredness, burnout, or poor health. The healthier you are as a caregiver, the better you can assist your loved one and handle any challenges.
Tip #4: Ask for Help
Sometimes asking for help is the hardest thing to do. Yet, it’s often one of the most beneficial actions a family caregiver can take.
Help can come from a variety of sources:
- Family or friends
- Local resource centers
- Professional in-home care
1. Family or Friends
Ask other family members or close friends for help. You may be surprised at how willing others are to step in and provide assistance. These individuals may not have the ability to help every day, but they might have time every week or every other week. Any amount of help you can get will provide you with extra rest and relief from the constant pressure of caregiving.
2. Local Resource Centers
Some localities may have Alzheimer’s resource centers stocked with helpful caregiver resources. For instance, the Alzheimer’s Association Greater Richmond Chapter provides information and support for those in Richmond, VA. They offer a variety of services, including:
- Care consultation
- Support groups
- Education and online resources
- Tools and safety services
You can check the Alzheimer’s Association website to find your local chapter.
3. In-home Dementia Care
Lastly, you can get professional home care help from a home care agency. Some home care agencies specifically train caregivers in caring for Alzheimer’s patients.
In-home caregivers can provide short-term respite care a few times a week. Short-term respite care is perfect for any family caregiver who simply needs some free time throughout the week. As a respite caregiver assists your loved one, you’ll have a stress-free time for practicing self-care or getting other personal responsibilities accomplished.
In the later stages of Alzheimer’s, in-home caregivers can provide 24-hour care to your loved one. Caregivers will stay with your loved one during daytime and nighttime hours to offer hands-on assistance any time of the day.
Where to Get the Best Dementia Care in Richmond, VA
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia. It attacks a person’s brain, causing them to have slowed thinking and cognitive abilities. As Alzheimer’s progresses, it can lead to more severe mood, behavior, and mobility changes.
Mild forgetfulness and memory loss mark the early stage of Alzheimer’s, and family caregivers can often provide the hands-on Alzheimer’s care that their loved ones need. If you find yourself as a family caregiver, it’s helpful to remember these four tips for Alzheimer’s caregivers:
- Prepare yourself
- Ready you or your loved one’s home
- Practice self-care
- Seek help
There are helpful caregiver resources available for those in the role of a family caregiver. When providing care becomes more challenging, professional in-home Alzheimer’s care can help meet your loved one’s care needs.
Are you looking for in-home Alzheimer’s caregivers in Richmond, VA?
Commonwise Home Care is a trusted in-home care provider in the greater Richmond area. All our caregivers are highly trained and know how to care for someone with Alzheimer’s disease. They also work closely with a Care Manager to ensure care is adjusted or changed as your loved one’s needs change. As a family member, you’ll also stay informed and up to date through our Care Managers and our easy-to-use Family Room web platform.
Contact us today to hear more about how an Alzheimer’s caregiver in Richmond can provide your loved ones with the care they need.