Here’s a truth that’s hard to admit sometimes (both to ourselves and to others).
The challenges of caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s can be overwhelming.
You obviously want what’s best for your loved one. But sometimes providing the care they need can be too time-consuming. Or the financial costs become too much to bear. Or, at times, it simply requires more help that you’re able to give.
If you’re struggling with taking care of someone with Alzheimer’s, it may be time to get some help. It doesn’t all have to fall on your shoulders.
But the question of when to get help is a tough one to answer.
Some of it comes down to how much care you and/or other loved ones are able to provide. But some of it comes down to the symptoms your loved one with Alzheimer’s has.
Below is a list of 5 warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease that may mean it’s time to get some outside help.
Have you witnessed the symptoms below? Do they seem to be affecting the lifestyle and quality of care of a beloved elder in your life?
If so, it’s time to at least start the discussion of looking for either in-home care or a memory care facility.
Many seniors who suffer from dementia will lash out at people around them. Either verbally or physically.
When this happens, it can cause increased stress on family and friends. And may even cause family and friends to feel resentful.
Aggression is often caused by spatial and time confusion on the part of someone with Alzheimer’s. As these symptoms progress and worsen, having skilled assistance is often required.
Escalating Care Needs
Do you have concerns about a loved one’s self-care capabilities because you feel…
- Their health risk is increasing because of unattended medical needs?
- They are at risk when living independently?
- An increasing burden on yourself by continuing to take care of them?
If so, then it’s time to seek outside assistance. These can all be signs that your loved one requires more care than you’re able to give and you’ll all be better off asking for assistance.
This is also known as “Sundowner Syndrome.”
This is when a senior becomes greatly agitated. It’s usually more pronounced later in the day (hence the name sundowner).
It’s a common symptom of Alzheimer’s disease and can cause many difficulties for the senior as well as increased stress to their family and care providers. When you notice this starts happening for longer periods of time or gets worse over time, you ideally want the care and support in place to reduce the stress of the symptoms and reduce future episodes.
This is when someone loses their way and wanders off. This is one of the biggest problems behaviors that caregivers have to deal with.
It’s also one of the most dangerous because it can lead to increased risks of falls and other preventable injuries.
Serious Gaps in Memory
Those suffering from dementia related illnesses will show memory loss or gaps in memory in a number of ways. As this symptom becomes more common, it can effect the senior’s health because routine care such as cleaning or medications are forgotten without prompting or reminders.
If memory loss is affecting your loved one’s state of mind and his/her ability to live independently, this can indicate a safety issue and one that must be addressed.
A Final Consideration
As we talked about at the beginning of this article, there’s a final consideration to take into account when deciding if it’s time to get care for your loved one with Alzheimer’s.
And that is you!
Is it becoming too difficult or stressful for you to take care of your loved one with Alzheimer’s? If so, that’s a sign you need some professional assistance.
While it can be a difficult decision to put your loved one in the care of another, many times it’s the best for both of you. Feeling stressful or resentful toward a loved one you’re caring for will only add to both of your difficulties and make things more challenging.
With a skilled caregiver supporting your loved one, you can rest easier knowing their needs are being met. And you’ll also be able to spend more quality time with them.