Tips for Talking to Family About a Senior with Alzheimer’s Disease Before a Visit
A family reunion can be a fantastic way to connect with loved ones and spend quality time with them. As a family caregiver, this is also a way you can encourage your aging parent to stay in touch with family, and enjoy the benefits of spending more time with their loved ones. If your senior is struggling with new challenges, such as those associated with Alzheimer’s disease, it may be challenging for family members who have not seen your aging loved one since their symptoms have worsened. Talking to the guests ahead of the reunion is a great way to prepare them, and ensure everyone has the best time possible.
Use these tips to talk to family about a senior with Alzheimer’s disease:
- Be honest. Avoid trying to sugarcoat the situation, or beat around the bush. Being upfront and clear with family members will make them feel more confident, and reduce the chances of discomfort during the gathering.
- Be respectful. Remember that your aging loved one is still an individual deserving of respect, dignity, and privacy. Share only the information you think is applicable to the gathering, and emphasize that guests should still interact directly with your parent rather than through you.
- Be helpful. Many people feel uncomfortable around those dealing with Alzheimer’s disease and similar conditions. They do not know how to act, or what they should say or do. Offer suggestions and encouragement, so that family members can enjoy quality time with your parents and feel at ease.
- Be prepared. Understand that even if your aging parent has not been dealing with severe symptoms, or you think they will be able to handle a gathering, their symptoms might worsen and they might experience anxiety or other negative consequences as a result of this change of pace. Be prepared by having a home care provider available to handle care needs as they arrive, and be ready to bring your parent to a quiet, isolated place to calm down if necessary.
Being a family caregiver for an elderly adult can be a challenging experience, but it can also be one of the most rewarding and fulfilling experiences you can have in your life. Introducing home care into your care routine with your aging parent can be an exceptional way to ensure your senior has the level of care, support, and assistance they require to manage their individual needs and limitations, while also giving you the ability to step back, take time to yourself, and focus on other obligations and needs in your life. Through a set of highly personalized services, this in-home care provider can help your parent to meet their needs in the ways that are right for them, while also supporting a lifestyle that is as active, engaged, independent, and fulfilling as possible as they age in place.