Providing Alzheimer’s support for a loved one is often very difficult under the best of scenarios; add in a worldwide pandemic, one that calls for social distancing, personal protective equipment (PPE), and thorough sterilization of both ourselves and our home environment, and the challenge might appear impossible.
Live Well at Home’s Alzheimer’s care team offers the following strategies to help reduce anxiousness and aggravation for individuals diagnosed with dementia, while keeping both them and their caregivers safe:
- Make sure self-care is a top priority. Now more than ever, it’s crucial that you determine your own level of stress, and take the appropriate steps to ensure you’re healthy – both emotionally and physically. You can only provide the best care assistance for a senior loved one if your own needs are met. This could mean limiting time spent watching the news and on social media, maintaining connections with close friends and family, and taking time for comforting, rewarding activities.
- Focus on personal hygiene. Correct hand-washing techniques are crucial for everybody, but can be tricky for those with dementia to manage. Depending on the individual’s stage of the disease, it may help to wash your hands together, demonstrating for your loved one; or place signs beside the sink in the bathroom and kitchen with a message to scrub for 20 seconds. And keep in mind that repetition, a common behavior in dementia, may work in your favor in this situation.
- Choose your words carefully. When speaking with a senior loved one about changes connected to COVID-19, it’s important to keep it straightforward, 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. In case you happen to be identified as having COVID-19 yourself, or another medical problem that could stop you from safely providing the Alzheimer’s support your loved one needs, it’s imperative to have a plan in place for who could step in to take over your care responsibilities. An experienced home care agency, like Live Well at Home, is the ideal choice, with professional aides who are knowledgeable in specialized Alzheimer’s care.
Allow Live Well at Home, the experts in home care in Burlingame and the surrounding areas, to help. Our highly skilled Alzheimer’s caregivers are fully trained and experienced in both the protocol for reducing the risk of contracting coronavirus and the specialized type of care that is most helpful for people with dementia. Contact us at 916-459-3220 for a consultation.