Losing a loved one does not always mean death. Alzheimers and Dementia cause young and old to be “lost” to a degree as reason and memory decline.
There will never be enough information or time to adequately prepare you for Alzheimers and dementia. Diseases such as these challenge family and caregivers to learn new ways of coping with subtle or drastic changes.
These helpful tips will encourage and help you recognize and deal with these changes.
- Alzheimers and dementia seem to come in stages, slowly at first, then progressing—often showing up in suppressed anger or resentment. It is vital to recognize the cause.
- Watch closely for changes in eating habits, fears over trivial happenings, or tears or laughter at inappropriate times. Be sure to report these changes to health care providers, however insignificant they may seem at the time.
- It may not feel “right” to take away a loved ones’ privileges but it is the safest and best choice for them. God will send His loving peace as you do the hard thing for them.
- As you determine a schedule for yourself and your family, know it may–most likely will–need adjusting. As it has been said, “just go with the flow!”
- Plan even small activities for her/him. No one needs to be sitting in a chair all day with no activity. They may not recall the activity later, but their body and spirit will benefit greatly; so will yours. Often Mother helped me with chores like folding washcloths which I refolded later.
- Laughter truly is the best medicine as taught in the Scriptures. Your loved one will reflect what they see on your face–let them see joy and fun instead of fear and grief. I learned quickly to laugh at Mother’s messes so she would feel comfortable.
- Be alert always to changes. Just when you feel you’ve conquered a situation, a new one will appear suddenly and often without warning.
- It is God’s love in you and your love for that special person that will inevitable get you through the long–lasting journey.
Above all, love and accept the person as they are now.
To quote Debra White from her book, SHE TOUCHED MY HEART, “No longer will mom walk in confusion and fear; but her mind will be restored. She will know as she is known. She will walk on streets of gold … she will worship at the feet of Jesus as she declares Him King of Kings and Lord of Lords. No evil will abound near her … never another tear, no sadness, only peace, love and joy.”
To learn more about Debra’s book, click here.