Confusion. Isolation. Loneliness. These feelings are getting to be commonplace for many of us during the COVID-19 pandemic, however if you add in the element of Alzheimer’s, the challenges and frustrations are heightened to a completely new level.
Take, for example, the short-term memory loss inherent in Alzheimer’s disease. A family care provider attempting to find the best way to explain why the senior won’t be able to venture out for a cup of coffee, get a haircut, or visit with the neighbors may need to offer up that explanation many times – often in the same day.
Sue Spalding, Chief Executive Officer for the Alzheimer’s Association Minnesota, North Dakota Chapter, stresses the need for helping individuals diagnosed with dementia to minimize undue stress that could increase the progression of the disease. If you’re caring for someone with Alzheimer’s, here are some helpful recommendations to help him or her comfortably navigate life during the pandemic:
- Stay calm. Even though you may feel stressed and weighed down because of the state of the world, it is better to refrain from speaking about alarming issues and even watching the news with someone with Alzheimer’s. Make sure to find a suitable outlet for your feelings however – your spouse or other members of the family, a therapist, or trusted friend.
- Maintain routines. Needless to say, certain previously enjoyed routines that include outings or visits with family members may need to be put on hold, but keep a predictable schedule in your home that’s reassuring to the older adult, for example, a certain time for meals, exercise, hobbies, and bedtime.
- Create a backup plan. If you were to become ill, who would be qualified to step up to care for your family member? Creating a strategy now, before the need arises, is important. Partnering with a skilled home care agency, like CareWorks Health Services, Orange County providers of top-rated Newport Beach area memory care is the perfect solution, plus it’s an excellent idea to set up for regular respite care now, to help the senior become acquainted and comfortable with having another caregiver in the home.
And remember, it is very important for you to take care of yourself, too! Make sure to designate time every day for relaxing, enjoyable activities to let you unwind and destress, to stay connected to relatives, to adhere to a healthy diet and exercise routine, and to get lots of sleep. If carving out time for yourself is a challenge, let us know – we have the solution you need!
As we all continue to wait for a vaccine or effective treatment options for COVID-19, understand that CareWorks Health Services is equipped and ready to safely care for seniors, especially individuals diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, following all recommended protective guidelines. Email or give us a call at (949) 859-4700 to arrange a free in-home consultation to find out more about our Newport Beach memory care and home care services throughout Orange County. To learn more about the communities we serve, please visit this page on our website.