Diseases like Alzheimer’s don’t follow a roadmap, and caregivers can feel at the mercy of seesawing needs. A recent Alzheimer’s Association report says nearly 11 million unpaid caregivers provide an estimated 15.2 billion hours of care each year, which works out to almost $257 billion in annual care reliant on family and loved ones. Staggering stats like these make it easy to understand how caregivers can suffer from burnout.
When Age-Related Memory Loss May Be Something More
Before an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, you may wonder what’s normal and what’s not. In reality, occasional forgetfulness is a typical part of getting older.
However, if these lapses in memory are more frequent, or the person is unable to recall items later, this could be a sign of more significant cognitive decline. The Alzheimer’s Association outlines 10 early signs of Alzheimer’s and dementia and shares some important insights into typical age-related memory loss and warning signs.
Typical age-related change: Sometimes having trouble finding the right word to use in a conversation.
Warning sign: Having difficulty joining conversations, or stopping in the middle of chatting and not knowing how to continue.
Typical age-related change: Making a mistake or bad decision every once in a while, like neglecting to get the oil changed in their car.
Warning sign:Using poor judgment when dealing with money, or paying less attention to personal grooming and hygiene.
When changes begin to impact the safety or everyday function of a loved one, it may be time to consider outside Alzheimer’s care and support services.
Helpful Ways to Support Your Loved One After an Alzheimer’s Diagnosis
After an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, people may still be relatively independent and be able to do a lot of the same things safely. Be as supportive as possible, make positive assumptions about abilities, minimize stressful activities or situations and keep open lines of communication.
You can also participate and encourage your loved one to live well and boost brain health. This means emphasizing physical activities — bonus if it’s also socially engaging like a group fitness class — and healthy foods that are low in fat and vegetable-rich.
Also, it’s never too early to lay the framework for what care could look like in the future, and get your loved one involved in the decision-making process.
Alzheimer’s Care & Support Options Near Lincoln
Whether your loved one can safely remain at home or you’d like to learn more about how a senior living community with easy access to care services can offer additional support and peace of mind, knowing what’s available is Step One. Then, you and your loved one can collaborate to develop a personalized care roadmap that suits your needs now and in the future.
- Adult day centers offer structured and safe social engagement, programming and activities to support people suffering from memory loss. Depending on the location, certain centers may also offer counseling, health services and other therapies, too.
- In-home care services encompass medical and non-medical assistance and include housekeeping, companionship and skilled licensed care (for injections, physical therapy and more).
- Respite care offers a break for caregivers and loved ones alike. Respite services offer a safe, structured environment at regular intervals or for an event like a vacation.
- Residential care, the most comprehensive care option, offers community-centered support from specialized staff. Since residents live on-site, programming, activities, nutrition and other engagements become part of everyday life.
How Grand Lodge at the Preserve Supports Memory Needs
Here in our Lincoln community, you’ll find a wide array of wellness-focused programming and activities to help promote living well for as long as possible. When your loved one joins our community, they gain a true support system of residents and team members no matter the stage of their health journey.
If you would like to learn more about how Grand Lodge at the Preserve can support you and your loved one, please contact us. Together, we can talk through more personalized details about care options and answer any questions.