If you or your senior loved one has been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s, you may wonder how to cope with the sudden changes that affect your family on a daily basis. If you are a caregiver, you may be wondering if there is anything you can do to help the family member with Alzheimer’s participate in everyday life events, discussions, and shared family times to keep up the connection that has been built over the years. Fortunately, there are ways that family members can make everyday life easier for the diagnosed individual.
1. Eating Meals Together
There is a special feeling that can be shared while consuming a hearty meal. Sharing meals as a family fosters connection, allows a chance to deepen relationships, and provides an opportunity to talk about memories old and new while indulging in a warm meal. When a loved one has symptoms of early-onset Alzheimer’s — which can begin in their early 50’s — it is important as a caregiver to help your loved one structure her ideas and participate in discussing the day over a shared meal.
2. Attending Support Group Meetings
Though many individuals with early-onset Alzheimer’s may be tempted to live life by themselves and ignore signs of their disease until their symptoms majorly disrupt their lives, it’s a good idea to begin forming connections with others who have been diagnosed and caregivers who share the experiences.
Friendships with other caregivers, especially for adult children of parents with early-onset symptoms, can be wonderful sources of information and support. For those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, knowing that other individuals are living their lives despite having the condition can be empowering. Support in numbers is key.
3. Getting Help in the Home
Accepting help is not easy for everyone, and it can be especially difficult for someone who has been independent their whole life. Consider setting up in-home help for your loved one on a trial basis. They may soon realize how much easier daily chores and meal preparation becomes when there is someone to share the load. Having someone around on a daily basis, especially if an adult child caregiver or other family member has other work or family responsibilities to attend to, can be a lifeline for seniors who want someone to talk to, eat with, and share feelings with throughout their day.
Alzheimer’s can be troubling for newly diagnosed individuals and caregivers, but many individuals’ moods and self-esteem can be boosted through shared mealtimes and planned family events. Contact Home Helpers Home Care of Drexel Hill today to discuss how we can be of service to you and your family.