Being a good caregiver takes a lot of effort. That’s because, essentially, caregivers are servants (in the best possible way). They tirelessly give of their emotional, physical and mental energy to better the lives of the San Francisco Bay Area seniors around them. And for those who assist in providing Alzheimers care, the work can be particularly challenging.
Navigating the world of Alzheimers care in the San Francisco Bay AreaBut, even with its difficulties, caregivers have great jobs. Unexpected moments of gratitude from a senior can brighten a caregiver’s whole week. And it can be rewarding for caregivers to know that the services provided really do help other people. If you’re a caregiver that offers Alzheimers care assistance in the San Francisco Bay Area, you may find the tips below to be helpful.
- Remember that seniors needing Alzheimers care require LOTS of patience. If the senior you’re working with has limited mobility in addition to Alzheimer’s, you’ll probably need to provide physical help (lifting, grocery shopping, bathing / grooming help etc) as well as a mental support (medication reminders, assistance at doctor’s appointments). Realize that things will take longer than you may think they should and be willing to accept that. Your attitude can be as important as anything else you do!
- Understand that Alzheimers care looks different during the various stages of the disease. A San Francisco Bay Area senior that you start caring for this year may act very differently in a few years as Alzheimer’s progresses. Help the senior’s family cope with this as it will be hard for them to see their loved one acting / looking as they do.
- Realize that the senior you’re assisting may not be able to communicate his or her need very effectively. Try to study him or her to figure out communication cues and calmly ask for clarification if needed.
- Encourage safety, safety, safety. Seniors receiving Alzheimers care are going to be forgetful. Talk to the family of your senior about possible solutions for better safety, such as a GPS tracker on the senior or video monitoring of the home. Make sure that emergency contact information is quickly and easily accessible to all who need it. If you don’t go to the senior’s home every day, have family members call or visit their loved one to check in and make sure all is okay.
- Don’t get angry when the San Francisco Bay Area senior you’re caring for gets angry. It may be tempting to yell back, especially if you’re tired, but this will only escalate the situation.
- Don’t give up…keep persevering. Yes, being a caregiver is hard work. But it’s good work too. Take the emotional breaks you need to take care of yourself. You’ll be glad you did!
Sources: https://www.alz.org/care/dementia-communication-tips.asp, https://www.alz.org/greatermissouri/in_my_community_15169.asp, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marie-marley/10-critical-tips-for-alzheimers-caregivers_b_3324076.html