Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease can be devastating, since the disease causes individuals to forget names, places and faces. As difficult as providing Alzheimer’s care can be at times, there are characteristics of this disease that caregivers can actually use to decrease their own stress, according to The Huffington Post.
Firstly, seniors with Alzheimer’s disease tend to forget quickly about unpleasant experiences that happen to them. Caregivers who watch their loved one struggle with a certain task or have a negative experience may become upset because they feel bad for the senior. Meanwhile, the senior may have forgotten that it happened altogether, and therefore is no longer upset about it. Remembering this may help caregivers let go of some of the negative feelings they hold.
Memory loss, the hallmark of the disease, also allows the senior to live in the moment better than their caregivers may be able to, the news outlet reports. When individuals with Alzheimer’s disease cannot remember the past, it makes adapting to new changes easier for them. Because they are not worried about the future, they can enjoy the present moment more fully.
Remembering that the senior lives in the moment can help caregivers in many ways. Perhaps most importantly, it can help them focus solely on making their loved one happy in the present moment. Letting go of regrets of the past and not letting oneself be bogged down by worries of the future can make the caregiving process much less stressful.
Of course, this can also make a huge difference when it comes to looking into other options for care for the senior. Many caregivers feel guilty when they choose short-term respite stays at a senior living community or even opt for assisted living. However, as long as the senior is happy and comfortable there, there is usually little to be worried about. Plus, these options allow the seniors a chance to interact with others having similar experiences and enjoy activities designed for them in a safe and supportive environment, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. The organization reports it is important that caregivers remember that seeking help does not make them a failure – rather, it is an option that benefits both caregiver and senior.
Citation: Watt, Tim. “Tips For Using Alzheimer’s Characteristics For Better Care.” Sunrise Senior Living, 25 July 2012. Web. 26 July 2012. http://www.sunriseseniorliving.com/blog/July-2012/Tips-For-Using-Alzheimers-Characteristics-For-Better-Care.aspx