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Families of aging loved ones with Alzheimer’s strive to make life as enjoyable as possible for their loved one. While safety is often a top priority, helping the senior maintain his or her independence is often next on the list. If you provide home care for a senior parent or loved one, the following are a few simple ways to help promote as much independence as possible, throughout each stage of the disease.
Encourage Physical Activity
In the early stages of Alzheimer’s, the symptoms of the disease should still permit your loved one to participate in simple, physical activities. Of course, it’s best to meet with your loved one’s doctor or physician so he or she can conduct an initial assessment of your loved one to make sure exercises are safe to perform. In-home and chair exercises, stretching and short walks can help strengthen muscles and bones, increase blood flow and enhance mood, all of which contribute to preserving independence. Exercise can also help to manage weight and reduce the risk of conditions such as obesity and type II diabetes.
Suggest Participation in a Past Hobby
You know your loved one the best and are likely familiar with his or her past profession and skills, and which hobbies and social activities he or she used to enjoy. Helping your loved one participate in a once-loved hobby can help stimulate the mind and when done with another person, can also promote social ties and feelings of self-worth and independence.
Past activities can also be modified if your loved one is no longer able to be as active as possible as the result of symptoms of Alzheimer’s. For instance, if your loved one was an avid fisherman, activities such as sorting fishing lures or reading fishing-related materials together can help trigger past memories and keep the brain as active as possible.
Engage in Regular Conversation
As a senior with Alzheimer’s begins to revert to child-like behaviors, caregivers can unknowingly begin to treat their loved one like a child. It’s important to remember that your loved one still benefits from regular conversations, and it’s important to engage them in meaningful interactions, avoiding elderspeak – the tendency to treat a senior in a highly dependent manner, often using inappropriate terms of endearment such as sweetie or dear. This can help to stimulate the brain and preserve memory so that your loved one can remain as independent as possible as the disease progresses.
As your loved one’s care needs become more complex, professional assistance may be required to ensure needs are met and that dignity and independence are preserved. If you are in search of options for professional Alzheimer’s home care in Redondo Beach, reach out to Home Care Assistance today.
Home Care Assistance is a premier local provider of senior home care, serving Southern California’s South Bay communities. Our experienced and compassionate caregivers are highly trained in how to meet the needs of seniors with Alzheimer’s and our exclusive Cognitive Therapeutics Method, which is designed specifically to promote mental acuity and brain health for elderly adults of all abilities. To learn more about this unique in-home program, or to schedule a complimentary no-obligation consultation, call 310-504-0506 and speak with a friendly Care Manager.