Alzheimer’s and dementia are comparable to mental illness – you cannot reason with someone who does not have any concept of rationalization. They are completely out of touch with reality and the world around them; seniors are not in tune with other people’s emotions, and their own emotional hardwiring has been severely compromised by the changes in their brain structures caused by dementia. Verbal abuse, unfortunately, is one of the most common symptoms of Alzheimer’s. If you don’t change your perspective about this neurological disease, you are opening yourself up to unnecessary emotional pain.
After being with your elderly spouse or partner for so many years, you find it hard to adjust to your elderly loved one’s cognitive and emotional decline, and understandably so. A-1 Home Care in Calabasas is here to help you and support you in any way we can. To create a safe buffer between yourself and your loved one, try the following tips:
- It’s not your spouse speaking, it’s dementia. If your partner is spewing out curse words and making threats to divorce you every time you have a conflict, don’t take it personally. First and foremost, understand that your partner has already lost his ability to reason; he may have his lucid moments, but if he wasn’t like this in the past, you can be sure that it’s the illness speaking.
- Create a network of social support. If you have friends, other family members or community members who will listen, support and give advice to you when you ask for it. You will find incredible emotional relief when you attend a community group of members who can relate and empathize with your situation. They can offer some great tips, perhaps even professional tips, on how to respond to your elderly loved one.
- Ask for help from your siblings or spouse’s siblings. Your immediate family members can help contribute emotionally, financially or physically, as in coming to visit your spouse, offering to cook, clean, and run errands for you. If your relatives live far away, they can pitch in financially for a 24-hour Alzheimer’s caregiver seven days a week or a few days a week.
- Put up boundaries. Get some respite care relief, even if it’s for a few hours a day, so you can get away from the house and treat yourself to something nice, like a manicure or professional massage. Having a live-in caregiver will allow you to walk away whenever you need to, instead of having to wait on a live-out caregiver to arrive on the scene.
- Relax and go with the flow. Conflicts will abound as the disease gets worse; learn to go with the flow and try not to make your elderly loved one agree to some mutual solution. You can have a 24 hour caregiver with whom you can bounce off ideas and work toward a problem together, but if you insist on solving a problem with your elderly loved one, you may just drive yourself crazy.
According to a Caregiving in the US (2015) report, Alzheimer’s caregivers are “especially vulnerable to emotional distress and negative health impacts, and [they] need outreach and support focused on their especially demanding situation.”
Affordable Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care 24 Hours a Day
A-1 Home Care offers affordable in-home care for seniors and their families all over Calabasas, Pasadena, Santa Monica, Malibu, Hollywood and other parts of LA County. Established in 1991, A-1 Home Care is a licensed, bonded and insured agency delivering high quality senior care at competitive rates, and as one of the few state-licensed agencies in California, we ensure that your elderly loved ones will be protected from predators, scam artists, theft and fraud. We have a variety of in-home care services available to you, from Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care to Arthritis Care, Lou Gehrig’s Care, Parkinson’s Care and more. Talk to one of our care managers about an elder care plan that fits your budget!
To hire a caregiver in your area, call A-1 Home Care today (818) 980-0094 or visit our website www.calabasasinhomecare.com for services in your area.