While there are some commonalities, Alzheimer’s symptoms can manifest differently for each individual. Our specially trained dementia care Santa Barbara experts know, for instance, that while one person may take pleasure in being outside, a different individual may be overwhelmed by an overload of sensory input and favor a quieter indoor environment. One person may prefer a morning bath routine, whereas a bit of creativity is important to help a different person maintain good hygiene.
We also recognize there are specific triggers that could often worsen the challenging aspects of Alzheimer’s disease. Family caregivers should really be especially careful in order to prevent the following:
- Those with dementia might not be able to recognize when they’re thirsty, or may resist when provided fluids. It is vital to ensure appropriate hydration to prevent added confusion and weakness. Plain water is often best; however, if refused, try flavored waters, as well as different types of cups or bottles.
- Those diagnosed with dementia experience loneliness as much as anyone else, and without sufficient social stimulation, may become increasingly agitated or paranoid. A specialized dementia caregiver, like those at Complete Care at Home, who are fully trained in dementia care, can offer suitable socialization, giving family members a much-needed break from care.
- Sugar. It’s not unusual for people with Alzheimer’s disease to have a heightened desire for cookies, cake, and other sugary snacks, but it also can result in greater irritability. Try offering a variety of healthier options, like fruit or yogurt, or other foods naturally low in sugar.
- Sleeping pills. With the difficulties of common sleep issues including sundowning, it is often tempting for family members to offer sleeping pills to a loved one with Alzheimer’s to encourage a more restful night. However, these drugs raise the risk for falls and other injuries and add to confusion and fogginess. Talk with the senior’s physician for an all-natural sleep-inducing option.
- Be careful of what’s on TV; shows that contain criminal activity and violence, as well as the nightly news, can instill worry and paranoia in people who have dementia. It might be better to leave the TV off and engage your senior loved one in alternate activities, including games, puzzles, reading together, exercising, and reminiscing – or choose to watch films you have carefully evaluated to make certain content is suitable.
Every member of our Santa Barbara dementia care team is highly trained and experienced in providing person-centered, thoughtful care to successfully manage Alzheimer’s symptoms, and to improve total wellbeing. Give us a call at (805) 727-3445 for further dementia care tips, and for an in-home consultation to discover how our specialized in-home Alzheimer’s care can make life brighter for a senior loved one.