Most people will become caregivers or need one at some point in their lives.
For some care giving for an adult with a cognitive impairment can occur gradually over time. For others it can happen overnight. We know that cognitive and memory impairments can change how a person thinks, acts or feels. These changes often present special challenges for families and caregivers. You may feel alone, unprepared and overwhelmed by what is expected of you. These feelings as well as other emotions such as fear, sadness, anxiety, guilt, frustration and even anger are very normal and may come and go throughout your time of providing care.
Helpful suggestions for managing these problems may include:
- Keep language simple and ask one question at a time. Break down tasks and questions by using simple statements.
- Wandering and poor judgment may signal the need for 24 hour supervision. It is important to safety proof your home.
This may include:
- Door alarms
- Identification bracelets in case your loved one wanders
- Bathroom grab bars, non- skid rugs and paper goods rather than glass items
- Supervision of food, alcohol and medication consumption
- Remove all fire arms from the home and lock sharp objects
- Emergency phone numbers and information posted nearby
- Connect to others, joining a support group will connect you with other caregivers facing similar circumstances
- Take care of yourself. Practice daily exercise. Eat nutritious meals and snacks. Get adequate sleep. Take time for your self. Recreation is not a luxury.
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