Providing home care services for an aging parent with Alzheimer’s disease is often stressful under the best of conditions; mix in a worldwide pandemic, one that calls for social distancing, masks, and thorough sanitation of both us and the environment, and the challenge might seem insurmountable.
Harmony Home Health & Hospice’s Alzheimer’s care team provides the following ideas to help minimize anxiety and frustration for those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, while keeping both them and their caregivers safe:
- Make self-care a priority. Now more than ever, it is important to determine your own personal level of stress, and take steps to make sure you’re in good health – both emotionally and physically. You can only give the best care for a senior loved one if your own needs are met. This could mean decreasing time spent watching the news, as well as on social media, maintaining connections with friends and family, and making time for comforting, enjoyable hobbies.
- Take care of personal hygiene. Proper handwashing techniques are critical for all of us, but could be difficult for those with dementia to manage. Depending on the person’s stage of the disease, it might help to wash your hands with each other, showing the steps to your loved one; or, position signs next to the sink in the bathroom and kitchen with a message to wash for 20 seconds. And keep in mind that repetition, a common behavior in dementia, could work to your advantage in this situation.
- Choose your words carefully. When speaking with the senior about changes connected with COVID-19, it’s important to keep it simple, utilizing a calm and reassuring tone. Beth Kallmyer, Vice President of Care and Support at the Alzheimer’s Association, suggests statements such as, “We have to stay inside because that’s most safe for us, but we’ll do it together. I’ll be with you and we’ll be okay.”
- Be sure to have a backup plan. If you happened to be diagnosed with COVID-19 yourself, or another medical condition which could prevent you from safely providing homecare help for a loved one with dementia, it is critical to have a plan in place for who could take over to execute your care responsibilities. A skilled home health care agency, like Harmony Home Health & Hospice, is the perfect choice, with nurses who are skilled in specialized dementia care and management of medical needs.
Let Harmony Home Health & Hospice help. Our professional dementia caregivers are fully trained and experienced in both following proper protocol pertaining to minimizing the risk for contracting coronavirus, and in the specialized type of care that is most effective for all those with Alzheimer’s disease. Reach out to us at 1-877-I-NEED-CARE (1-877-463-3322) for a consultation if you are seeking Salt Lake City home health care, or care throughout Utah and New Mexico.