Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s is often difficult under the best of scenarios; mix in a global pandemic, one which calls for social distancing, masks, and thorough sterilization of both ourselves and our environment, and the challenge might appear insurmountable.
Complete Care at Home’s Summerland senior care team, providing service to Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, recommends the following tactics to help reduce stress and aggravation for seniors with Alzheimer’s disease, while keeping both them and their caregivers safe:
- Make sure self-care is a main priority. Now more so than ever, it’s vital that you evaluate your own personal amount of stress, and take the appropriate steps to make sure you’re healthy – both emotionally and physically. You can only provide the best caregiving help for a senior loved one if your own needs are met. This may mean reducing time spent watching the news and on social media, maintaining connections with family and friends, and taking time for comforting, rewarding activities.
- Take care of personal hygiene. Proper handwashing techniques are crucial for all of us, but may be tricky for those with Alzheimer’s to manage. Depending on the senior’s stage of the disease, it could help to wash your hands alongside one another, demonstrating for your loved one; or, position signs beside the sink in the bathroom and kitchen with a message to scrub for 20 seconds. And keep in mind that repetition, a typical behavior in Alzheimer’s, may work in your favor in this case.
- Choose your words very carefully. When speaking to a senior loved one with dementia about changes associated with COVID-19, it’s crucial to keep it very simple, using a calm and reassuring tone. Beth Kallmyer, Vice President of Care and Support at the Alzheimer’s Association, recommends statements such as, “We have to stay inside because that’s most safe for us, but we’ll do it together. I’ll be with you and we’ll be okay.”
- Be sure to have a backup plan. In the event that you were diagnosed with COVID-19 yourself, or another health condition that would prevent you from safely providing care for a senior loved one with dementia, it’s imperative to have a plan in place for who could take over to execute your home care duties. An experienced home care agency, like Complete Care at Home, is the ideal choice, with professional caregivers who are skilled in specialized Alzheimer’s care.
Let Complete Care at Home’s Summerland senior care team help. Our knowledgeable Alzheimer’s caregivers are fully trained and experienced in both adhering to proper protocol associated with minimizing the danger for contracting coronavirus, and in the specialized types of care that are most effective for those with dementia. Email or call us at 805-727-3445 for an assessment and to learn more about our top-rated senior home care in Santa Barbara and the surrounding communities or for more information on caring for someone with Alzheimer’s.