Survival is all about adaptation. If people don’t adapt to changes in their environment, their family structure, or some other unexpected event, they have a difficult time moving forward. When a person has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, it is essential that they learn to adapt to this new reality in life.
Early on, people just don’t want to accept it.
Even though the signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease begin developing anywhere between one and two years before diagnosis (Alzheimer’s Association), on average, and even though most people are aware there is a problem, it is difficult to accept this new reality. It can take several weeks or even months for a person in their 60s, 70s, or 80s to finally truly accept that they are dealing with Alzheimer’s disease.
What do they do next?
Once they have had the opportunity to deal with this reality, accept it, and be prepared for what the future may hold, that’s when they need to seriously consider their future, their long-term care options.
There are plenty of long-term care options available.
The most effective, though, at least in providing adequate care, comfort, and encouragement for seniors dealing with Alzheimer’s is to remain at home. Relying on family members, friends, and others can be beneficial, but nothing is better than an experienced home care aide.
How can home care aides help these seniors adapt?
Experienced caregivers who have worked with other elderly clients diagnosed with Alzheimer’s will understand how the disease progresses. They will understand common things people think about. They will understand the concerns and fears and anxieties that the seniors and their loved ones may have.
They can offer insight. They may encourage the development of routines. They may encourage their elderly clients to pursue things that are of interest to them, especially if they will require mental concentration, stimulation, and focus. There is research that indicates mental stimulation early on in the disease’s progression can actually help delay the onset of more serious aspects of memory loss in the years to come (Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation).
Being accepting of what is going to happen, being honest about one’s ability to offer support, and looking to the future are just a few ways that seniors can learn to adapt to this new reality in life, which can help provide them comfort, safety, and encouragement when memory loss becomes more significant.