At the onset of Alzheimer’s or dementia, a person affected by either of these diseases can live relatively comfortably unassisted. However, as the diseases progress, assisted living is inevitable.
Rewind a good couple of decades and some of us may recall how not listening to our parents was a favourite past-time! As fate would have it, the tables may have turned later in life and now you may be struggling with aging parents who just won’t listen to you…
Once a person is diagnosed with any kind of chronic illness, a range of emotions for both the person and their family will present themselves over time. When the diagnosis is Alzheimer’s or dementia, emotional support from family and friends will be much needed – not only in the beginning stages of these diseases, but throughout them.
As we grow older, changes in our memory and certain behaviours is only natural. This is part of growing old and the physical size and functioning of our brains being affected by time. However, the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease go much deeper than that, and are much more than mere lapses in memory or forgetting details of a story.
One of the realities of late stage Alzheimer’s and dementia is incontinence, which is the loss of bladder and bowel control. As a ‘thorn in the side’ of many Alzheimer’s and dementia patients there are many ways to assist in maintaining the dignity of those suffering from incontinence, but the first step is to understand the possible causes of this condition…
Spotting dehydration in an elderly parent or patient can be tricky at the best of times. It’s one of those ailments that shows small tell-tale signs, yet has a great effect on the body. All too often dehydration in the elderly is caught too late and leads to the development of serious conditions such as urinary tract and bladder infections, pneumonia and even bed sores, all the while exacerbating dementia and Alzheimer’s behaviours.
Moving elderly parents or loved ones into an assisted living facility or retirement community is never easy. It’s also not just a matter of packing up a few boxes and locking the door behind you – there is almost always a deep sense of sentimentality attached to every move. Whether it’s from your own home, a previous retirement community or transitioning into higher or frail care, moving out and settling in can be fraught with emotional traumas.
Regardless of whether your loved one or patient is in the early or later stages of dementia, they are still the same person they always were. There is one exception thought – they are ill – and the way they see and interpret the world around them has become vastly different.
As our parents age, become more frail and reliant on others, it may be an inevitability that they will have to move into your home as unassisted living is no longer a possibility. Ultimately you want your home to be a place where every member of your family feels comfortable and welcome, but a few minor changes and adjustments may need to be made in order to best accommodate a frail parent.
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