From an outside perspective, it may seem easy to recognize why a person diagnosed with Alzheimer’s should rely on help. Things are going to get much more challenging for them as the years progress. However, at this point in time, this senior is refusing all types of care, including hiring a home care aide, even for just a couple of days a week.
Some family, like adult children or a spouse, can get frustrated. They may get angry at this elderly person, mostly because they recognize the challenges are going to become much more intense as the years pass. Instead of getting frustrated, consider four ways that people can help those who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, even when they refuse care at the moment.
1. Learn to prioritize problems.
Right now, at this moment, shortly after diagnosis, what is the biggest problem to tackle? This senior will likely be able to tend to his or her own basic care well enough without assistance. They might need reminders about appointments and people may need to be more patient while repeating the same thing several times over the course of a few days, but what’s the biggest problem?
Is it safety? Is it learning what’s going to happen? Is it accepting this diagnosis? Prioritize problems and tackle those that are most pressing first.
2. Recruit outside help.
A spouse may feel completely alone in this, especially if their husband or wife is being ‘stubborn,’ at least in their estimation. Calling on friends, adult children, a brother or sister in the area, and maybe even neighbors to help is a good start.
These people will hopefully be able to speak to this elderly person diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and get them to realize it’s not just one person recommending home care.
3. Be patient.
One of the toughest things when somebody you care about is suffering is waiting it out. However, everyone has to deal with things in their own way and in their own time. This senior may not ‘come around’ to other perspectives and points of view for months or maybe even a year or two, but with loving support, patience, understanding, and persistence, they most likely will.
4. Talk openly and honestly about what to expect.
A lot of people have various misconceptions about Alzheimer’s and the various signs and symptoms of the disease, especially as it moves through different stages. Learn about what to expect and then be honest about that with the senior. Once a person realizes how significant the impact this disease is going to have on their memories, ability to function, and even their temperament, and when they find out relying on home care early can be a benefit later on, they might be more willing to consider this option.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Alzheimer’s care in Broomall, PA, please contact the caring staff at True Direct Home Health Care at 215-309-3119.
Doc, as he is called by everyone - staff, patients and clients - first experienced home health care and hospice care while as a colleg student at King's College as he cared for his mother every day as while she first battled COPD and then lung cancer. It was during this time that he came to understand that caring for a patient was more than just clinical expertise. "Admittedly, my strongest attribute is my communication skills and the simple fact that I love to help people. Even the smallest thing you can do for someone really can mean so much to them long term. In fact, it could change them forever. That's what providing quality personal home health care should be all about."
In his spare time, he cooks for homeless shelters and children's music and arts events. He also is highly involved in his local youth sports soccer academy as a coach and Board member.