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Caring for a loved one can be a rewarding experience, but it’s not without challenges. These challenges can be significantly more impactful for those caring for a senior with Alzheimer’s disease or other form of dementia. Changes in behaviors can occur for a variety of reasons, including over-stimulation, physical discomfort, confusion, exhaustion caused by sleep problems, medication, or changes in routine.
Over 747,000 Canadians are living with Alzheimer’s or another dementia.
Understanding the cause of behavioral changes is critical for caregivers, families and friends. And, it’s helpful for caregivers to know how to manage behaviors that will allow them to provide safe and effect support and diffuse tense situations. These behaviors can include:
The most important thing that caregivers need to remember is that challenging behaviors may not be entirely avoidable. It’s also not the fault of the person with Alzheimer’s or dementia. These behaviors are sometimes a common product of the disease. And, there is specialized support a caregiver can use to help keep a challenging behavior from escalating.
While there is no guaranteed approach that will work with every person or situation, there are some methods that can help caregivers manage trying times:
Staying calm – It’s not uncommon for caregivers to feel attacked or helpless when they are caring for someone exhibiting difficult behaviors. Remembering that it isn’t personal, and that it’s a symptom of the disease, can help caregivers manage their emotions and avoid contributing to tense or difficult situations. Arguing or reasoning can often escalate an outburst, so it’s necessary for caregivers to stay calm and supportive
Keeping a schedule – Seniors that suffer from Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias often find it reassuring to have a set schedule for meals, activities and daily tasks. Creating a schedule, and sticking to it as much as possible, can help prevent anxiety, confusion and anger.
Exercise – Exercise, with approval from a physician, is a great stress reliever for both seniors and caregivers. And, participating in activities together helps foster important emotional connections.
Participating in activities – Whether it’s an enjoyable hobby, household chore or physician-approved exercise, participating in joyful activities has shown to help manage challenging behaviors. These can be pre-scheduled or introduced when difficult behaviors are recognized. For example, caregivers can ask for help folding laundry to ease anxiety or can play music or sing to calm someone feeling confused, angry or depressed.
Mindful communication – Caregivers shouldn’t underestimate the power of communication. Caregivers can use soothing tones, speak in a friendly way and make eye contact to convey normalcy, understanding and compassion. This can help seniors experiencing anxiety or frustration to calm themselves.
Comfort Keepers® Can Help
At Comfort Keepers®, we provide specific training for our caregivers and individualized care plans to provide care and support to seniors with Alzheimer’s disease and to their families. Our specially trained Comfort Keepers engage clients in intellectual, physical and emotional interactions that complement medical treatment and improve the quality of life for everyone involved. And, they can facilitate stress management activities, support for physician-approved diet and exercise plans, provide transportation to appointments and will evaluate a home for safety as part of an in-home assessment. For more information on how in-home caregiving can help those with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, contact your nearest Comfort Keepers® office today.
alz.org Canada. “Alzheimer’s and Dementia in Canada”. Web. 2019.
National Institute on Aging. “Managing Personality and Behavior Changes in Alzheimer’s.” Web. 2017.
Verywell Health. “Complete Guide to Challenging Behaviors in Dementia.” Web. 2019.
Alzheimer’s Association. “Stages and Behaviors.” Web.
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Moving to a personal care home is a big decision based on many factors. Cold winter months are drawing near, and the Farmers Almanac is forecasting a Winter Wonderland for the northeastern United States. Keeping this in mind, and to avoid winter chores, this is a great time to consider a respite stay and experience first-hand what life is like living in a personal care home.Experience an easier moveWinter weather conditions like snow and ice can complicate the move to a personal care home. Moving before bad weather conditions arrive allows seniors to avoid potential weather-related delays, accidents or other challenges during transportation and when moving belongings.Try out the personal care homeRespite care offers seniors a chance to try out a retirement community without making a long-term commitment. Country Meadows offers all-rental retirement living accommodations, so seniors are not beholden to a lengthy lease or an ownership stake. A respite stay can help older adults see for themselves whether or not the community is a good fit for a permanent move.Avoid winter weather challengesMany older adults struggle with winter chores such as shoveling snow, chipping away ice, walking on icy sidewalks, managing heating systems and driving in inclement weather. A temporary respite stay at a personal care home eliminates these responsibilities, as well as many other daily chores, removing worries. It provides seniors the opportunity to settle into their new living arrangement without the added stress of winter weather.Access daily assistance and health servicesAlong with cold weather, the winter season can also bring several challenges for older adults to maintain wellness. A major benefit to living at a personal care home is prompt, easy access to health resources and assistance. This is especially beneficial for seniors with health concerns and mobility issues. If a resident requires assistance with medications, dressing, bathing or another daily activity, simply push a call button and a personal care associate can provide needed help. And a wellness team keeps an eye on each residents overall health.Reduce lonelinessMany seniors experience loneliness and isolation while living at home. The winter months can magnify these feelings. Respite care offers opportunities for social interaction and engagement with new neighbors and friends in the same age group, reducing feelings of loneliness and providing mental stimulation.Participate in activities, enjoy entertainment and outingsSenior living communities often offer a variety of enriching activities and events. At Country Meadows, our Vibe program considers each residents physical, cognitive, social and spiritual needs and customizes activities, entertainment, outings and purposeful service opportunities. Events are organized seasonally by categories and offer opportunities for socialization and fun. When living at a personal care home, one doesnt need to brave the elements outside, because all the fun during winter is happening indoors, fostering a sense of belonging among residents.Provide relief for family caregiversA respite stay offers a break for family members and friends providing care in a seniors private home. This break is especially appreciated during winter months when private caregiving responsibilities might become more demanding due to inclement weather, illnesses or holiday-related activities.When considering respite care at a personal care home or retirement community over the winter months, its important to do some homework. Families and seniors should research and visit potential facilities to ensure the community can meet specific needs and preferences of each individual. The decision for respite care should prioritize the well-being, comfort and specific needs of each person, aiming to provide a supportive and enriching experience. Contact Country Meadows Retirement Communities today.
As the sun sets on one chapter of life, a new dawn awaits beyond the horizon for our seniors. Building a brighter future for them means cultivating a society where their aspirations, dreams, and contributions are not only acknowledged but celebrated. Its about fostering an environment where the echoes of their laughter, the depth of their wisdom, and the richness of their experiences continue to shape our communities.In this future, we invest in education that knows no age, where seniors can explore new passions, engage in lifelong learning, and mentor the generations that follow. Accessible healthcare and innovative technologies become bridges, connecting them to the best possible quality of life. Moreover, we embrace their stories, acknowledging that each line on their face represents a tale of resilience and triumph. Beyond the horizon lies a world where seniors are not just receivers of care, but architects of change, artists of newfound hobbies, and ambassadors of love. Together, lets create a tomorrow where the golden years are filled with purpose, joy, and the boundless adventure of living life to the fullest.
PRIVATE NURSING CARE YOU CAN TRUSTHelping clients regain their health and independence while remaining in their home for as long as safely possible is at the heart ofQuality Medical Services.We respond by listening to our clients' quality of life, care and comfort issues, as well as to those of their family and loved ones. We take to heart the task of matching the right professional to the individual needs of each client.Quality Medical Servicesprovides licensed and experienced nurses to provide the appropriate level of care in the comfort of your own home, where you want to be.CARING PROFESSIONALS PROVIDE A CONTINUUM OF CAREMost importantly, we deliver care right in thecomfort of your home, where you want to be.Many things makeQuality Medical Servicesstand apart from other nursing services. Oneof the main differences is not clinical at all.We recognize that as important as technicalskills are tohome healthcare, so is the needfor empathy and kindness. We are acompany that believes in compassionatecare that comes from the heart.
Comfort Keepers helps seniors stay independent in the comfort of their own home by providing quality, compassionate care by screened, trained, insured and bonded caregivers. We understand that each client has unique needs and personal preferences and needs. Our Interactive Caregiving model offers a full range of in-home services to tailor care plans that support senior mind, body, safety and nutrition.
Comfort Keepers helps seniors stay independent in the comfort of their own home by providing quality, compassionate care by screened, trained, insured and bonded caregivers. We understand that each client has unique needs and personal preferences. Our Interactive Caregiving model offers a full range of in-home services to tailor care plans that support senior mind, body, safety and nutrition.