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All Posts in Category: General

Activities Offered by a Companion Aide

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When someone you love is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, it can bring many strong emotions. Anxiety, sadness, and concern about what to do next are all common reactions. Although an Alzheimer’s diagnosis can be scary and overwhelming, it’s important to remember that help is available. Remember that with the right research and a little patience, you can find a qualified, compassionate caregiver to help you with the task of caring for your family member.

Finding the right person to assist your loved one can be a daunting task. You want to find someone who is well qualified to provide great care, in addition to possessing compassion, tact, and gentleness. There are a range of in-home services to choose from including companion services, personal care services, homemaker services, and skilled care. A good thing to keep in mind as you begin your search is that there is no one-size-fits-all care plan that will work for every person with Alzheimer’s. While some people in advanced stages of the disease will require round-the-clock care and more medical help, people with milder symptoms may only need someone to provide companionship.

If your loved one is still relatively independent – able to bathe, dress, and eat with minimal assistance – a companion aide could be the best choice. A companion aide provides company and light supervision. They can read to your loved one, do puzzles and play games with them, go on walks, do crafts and art activities, and provide general interaction and socialization. In contrast to a personal care or medical professional, companion aides are unable to administer medications, perform physical therapy, assist in toileting or bathing, or provide homemaking services. For those with Alzheimer’s, staying socially engaged and active is just as important as staying physically healthy. The goal is to help slow the progress of the disease and preserve their dignity and quality of life.

To receive advice and help about increased aggression and other behavioral difficulties, feel free to contact us. Give us a call at 888-311-1142, or fill out a contact form and we will respond shortly.

Home Health Care New Yrok

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Not Letting Late-Stage Behavioral Changes Affect Your Own Life..

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Among all the changes associated with Alzheimer’s disease, behavioral changes can be among the most difficult to cope with. Whereas living arrangements and activities of daily living can be adjusted in concrete, easy-to-define ways, managing challenging behaviors requires a high degree of patience and flexibility. When someone you love experiences major personality changes, it can be very hard to know how to help them, especially when you are dealing with your own feelings of confusion, frustration, and powerlessness. However, it’s essential to remember that there are things you can do to mitigate your loved ones’ behavioral problems, improve their quality of life, and increase your own peace of mind.

Most people are prepared to deal with the forgetfulness and memory loss that accompany Alzheimer’s. However, other behavioral symptoms can be more unexpected, and more distressing. Repetitive behaviors, physical and verbal aggression, incoherent vocalization, and wandering are some common behaviors that diminish quality of life and lead to frustration on the part of caregivers. When these behaviors are improperly managed – by ignoring them, or by responding with anger or resentment – they often become worse, leading to caregiver burnout. In these instances, patients are often placed in full-time residential care before they would otherwise need to be. Understanding the source of these behaviors and learning how to manage them appropriately can make all the difference.

Above all, it’s important to remember that behaviors are a way of communicating in the absence of the cognitive functions that enable clear verbal communication. Someone who used to be calm and easygoing may become verbally abusive or physically aggressive. Instead of taking it personally, look for the source of the behavior: is your loved one bored, over-stimulated, uncomfortable, hungry, thirsty, or in pain? Are they tired or depressed? All of these factors can contribute to behavioral issues. Take note of when your loved one acts out: often, it can be correlated with specific events or environmental stressors. For example, if they often become agitated at the end of the day, their behavior could be caused by fatigue. Mirrors, shadowy lighting, or a cluttered environment can cause confusion and distress. Strangers in the home or crowded social events are also common source of stress.

For a caregiver, the best way to approach behavioral issues is to remember not to take them personally. They are a natural part of the progression Alzheimer’s disease, and, as such, cannot be eliminated. They can, however, be managed: when you remain calm, flexible, and empathetic, it will help your loved one and you as a caregiver. Retaining a sense of humor and cultivating patience can go a long way toward reducing your own feelings of stress and frustration. Instead of trying to “fix” your loved one, or arrest the process of cognitive deterioration, focus on providing them with a comfortable, soothing environment, as well as compassion, appropriate social interaction, and lots of love.

To receive advice and help about increased aggression and other behavioral difficulties, feel free to contact us. Give us a call at 888-311-1142, or fill out a contact form and we will respond shortly.

Home Health Care New Yrok

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More Advice on Aggression and Other Behavioral Difficulties

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Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s is an incredible challenge. In addition to taking on responsibility for their activities of daily living – dressing, bathing, mealtimes, toileting, and so on – caregivers must contend with the added difficulty of the behavioral changes that often accompany Alzheimer’s. It can be extremely upsetting when someone you love exhibits aggression, confusion, disturbed sleep, or other behavioral issues. Knowing how to respond when these issues do arise – and what you can do to prevent or mitigate them – can help you to manage your own stress level, as well as improve your loved one’s quality of life.

A common behavioral change that occurs in Alzheimer’s patients is increased aggression. Even someone who was previously calm and easy-going can become aggressive or agitated as a result of dementia. Episodes of aggression can come seemingly out of nowhere, with the patient lashing out verbally or physically. However, if your loved one exhibits aggression, it could be because of pain or physical discomfort, hunger, thirst, or disturbances in the environment. Make sure that they have all of their physical needs met and that the environment is soothing, without loud noises, bright lights, lots of activity or unfamiliar people. Also, pay attention to your own tone of voice and body language. Even though people with Alzheimer’s may lose the ability to understand spoken language, they remain highly attuned to non-verbal cues: if you are feeling stressed or irritated, your loved one may become agitated in turn. To help avoid confusion and anger, use simple, easy-to-follow instructions, keep a routine, and make sure that your facial expression and body language convey warmth and calm.

People with Alzheimer’s often experience difficulties sleeping and eating. In order to preserve these crucial functions – and allow yourself to rest and recharge – maintain a consistent routine around sleep and mealtimes. Use soft music, inviting colors, and favorite foods to make eating more appealing. Exercise can stimulate the appetite and encourage sleep. Limit their caffeine and sugar, as well as daytime napping, to help your loved one sleep through the night.
Among the changes that occur with Alzheimer’s, confusion, depression, and hallucinations are common, and can severely impact the patient’s quality of life. Medications can all contribute to these issues, and should be monitored regularly to insure proper dosage and prevent adverse drug interactions. Providing adequate exercise, companionship, and opportunities for meaningful activity, as well as insuring a soothing and calm environment, can all help to mitigate these issues.

If your loved one exhibits wandering behavior, it’s important to make sure that they are safe. Wandering around the house might not be a problem, as long as the patient is kept away from stairwells and other hazards. Make sure to keep doors locked to prevent wandering outdoors. It can be helpful to hide shoes, keys, purses, or other items that the patient habitually brings with them on outings. Appropriate supervised exercise can help to prevent restlessness, and providing distractions, such as music, reading aloud, or looking at pictures, can help to reduce the impulse to wander. In the event that your loved one does go outside, make sure that they wear an ID bracelet at all times, and notify neighbors to be on the lookout.

Edison Home Health Care is happy to provide home health care for you or any loved one. Give us a call at 888-311-1142, or fill out a contact form and we will respond shortly.

Home Health Care New Yrok

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