Elderly Care in Lansing MI
When you are on an elderly care journey with a senior who has Alzheimer's disease, you will face many challenges and care situations that you would not necessarily encounter if you were the family caregiver for an aging adult who did not have this progressive condition. One such issue is memory loss. According to the Alzheimer's Association, memory loss can occur in even the earliest stages of the disease and is often the first symptom that a caregiver, family member, or even the senior herself, recognizes and uses as a basis for suspecting Alzheimer's. In fact, memory loss among seniors is so closely linked to Alzheimer's disease that many people automatically assume that a senior who is having this type of difficulty has Alzheimer's, though this is not necessarily the truth.
The main cause of memory loss in Alzheimer's disease is the extensive and progressive damage and death of brain cells caused by the disease. In the early to mid-stages of the disease the memory loss is largely limited to new and recent information. This means that while your parent might be able to tell you in detail about her time in elementary school, her sorority days, and how she met your father, she might not be able to remember if she ate lunch the day before or when was the last time that she took a shower.
As the disease worsens, the memory loss becomes more pronounced, and by the late stages it has extended to all memory and seniors are often incapable of even recognizing their own children or remembering details about their own identity.
While there is currently no way to cure Alzheimer's disease or stop the progression of memory loss, research has proven that consistently exercising the mind and using memory triggers can be extremely helpful in not only preserving the strength and function of the cognitive processing and memory skill centers of the brain, but also in supporting and maintaining a greater sense of independence and autonomy among those seniors dealing with the disease.
One way that you can do this is through the use of pictures. Strategically integrating pictures into your elderly care approach can not only help your parent to stay more connected to the world around her during her progression, but can also enable her to handle more of her own tasks confidently and independently even as her memory falters.
Some ways that you can use pictures in your Alzheimer's care approach include:
- Friends and family. Stimulate your parent's memory and help her to stay connected by sharing pictures of loved ones with her. Ask her to identify the people in the pictures and what they were doing, and if she cannot, do it for her. Talk about the memories and encourage her to reminisce about them as much as possible. This is especially helpful if she will be seeing a friend or family member soon and may not remember that person
- Home organization. Help her to quickly note where things are in the house so that she can find them more easily by using pictures. Add a picture of the inside of the bathroom to the outside of the bathroom door, the same for the bedroom, pictures of the different types of clothes in each drawer on the outside of the drawers, and pictures of the different things kept in containers or cupboards on those. This will enable her to do more for herself even if she needs help from you or an elderly health care services provider
- Instructions. Use photo instructions to guide her through basic home tasks such as doing a load of laundry or preparing a cup of coffee. Reading instructions can be confusing and overwhelming, but if you take pictures of each step and post them in order, she can follow them more easily.
If you or an aging loved one are considering in-home elderly care in Lansing MI, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors of Lansing. Call today: 517-332-9953