Your dad has Alzheimer’s. You have no experience with this disease. He’s the first in many generations, so it’s all frightening and confusing to you. How do you handle each of the stages when you’re entering unfamiliar territory?
Make Sure You’re Proactive
Your dad isn’t wandering today, but that doesn’t mean he won’t start tomorrow. Be proactive and take steps to get preventative steps in place. Door locks higher on the door frame keep him from getting out. Alarms on doors and windows alert you to his trying to get out of the house.
Start toddler-proofing your house. Put medications, household cleaners, and knives in locked drawers or cupboards. You never know what your dad might try to eat or drink. He might try to use glass cleaning wipes as a face cleaning wipe. He might look at a bottle cleaner and think it’s a sports drink.
Install things in your bathrooms that will make bathing easier. A shower chair and hand-held shower wand are good investments.
Learn to Be Patient
Your patience is going to be tested every day. Your dad will have good days, and he’ll have bad days. It’s not unusual to find him laughing one minute and agitated and pushing you away the next. It’s hard, but you need to be patient.
You cannot ask him to change his mood. His brain isn’t always going to be capable of controlling anger and frustration. He’s going to be scared. He’s going to panic. Be there for him and patiently support him through each change. From there, embrace the positive moods as they come.
Know When to Walk Away
Walking away isn’t a failure. If you need to leave the room to cry, scream into a pillow, or take some deep breaths, do so. Never blame yourself for needing those moments away.
A walk around the porch is a good way to take a quick break, refresh yourself, and return to help your dad. By the time you return, he’ll likely have forgotten anything that had him agitated and upset you.
Family caregivers need to take breaks. Join a support group online or through a local organization. Once you’ve done that, look into respite care. Caregivers come to his home and take over so that you can go out, attend a support group, run errands, or visit friends. Just be sure that you’re taking the breaks you need to stay healthy.
If you or someone you know needs hiring Home Health Care Buffalo, MN, contact Adara Home Health Care. We provide quality and affordable home care services for many fragile or senior members in the communities we serve. Call us at (888) 660-5772 for more information.
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