Even the most patient person has a hard time handling a parent’s actions and responses when Alzheimer’s is present. When your mom has Alzheimer’s, you cannot react. A very gentle touch is necessary. Are you making mistakes that affect your mom’s reactions? Here are some of the common issues adults face when spending time with a parent who has Alzheimer’s disease.
Do You Take an Answer at Face Value?
Your mom may be saying “no” to everything you suggest. This is normal. If you’re trying to get your mom to go out for a walk, get out of bed, or go have a meal in a restaurant, you need to stop accepting the first “no” you hear.
Your mom is unlikely to forget the answer she just gave you a few minutes ago. If you ask her a question and she immediately says “no,” wait a few minutes and ask again. Try rewording the question and relate it to something she’s loved doing in the past. For example, take her passion for Thai food, come up with a memory you have where you went out to a Thai restaurant together, and ask something like, “Do you remember when we first discovered Thai coffee? Wouldn’t it be fun to do that again?”
Do You Lose Patience and Raise Your Volume?
Losing patience is not the right approach to someone with Alzheimer’s. If your mom is currently confused as to why you’re refusing to let her drive and you’ve had enough of her arguing, you still have to stay calm. Keep your voice level and explain that the doctor said it’s for her safety. She may be angry, but you cannot respond with anger. It will only worsen an already challenging situation.
Do You Criticize Her Memory Loss?
It’s understandable to get tired of answering the same question over and over. After you’ve answered the same question for the 10th time in an hour, you’re going to be tempted to say, “I already told you that.” Don’t do this. It may be hard, but criticizing the loss of memory will make your mom feel worse than she already does. Keep answering the same question with the same calm tone, no matter how many times you’ve already answered it.
Are You Trying to Do It All?
Don’t approach your mom’s care alone. You need support. Talk to a senior care agency about hiring a professional caregiver. Your health is just as important as your mom’s care. You need to take breaks and de-stress. A senior care professional ensures your mom gets the care she needs while you enjoy some time to yourself.
If you or someone you know needs help with senior care in Ada, MI, contact Gauthier Family Home Care. We provide quality and affordable home care services in our community. Call us at (616) 258-2300 for more information.
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