Posted on: July 14, 2020
Loneliness. Confusion. Isolation. These feelings are getting to be common for a number of us during the COVID-19 pandemic, but once you factor in the element of Alzheimer’s, the challenges and frustrations are elevated to an entirely new level, especially for family caregivers providing dementia support.
Consider, for instance, the short-term memory loss inherent in Alzheimer’s disease. A family caregiver searching for the best way to explain why the senior can no longer venture out for coffee, get a haircut, or visit with the neighbors might need to offer up that explanation several times – often in the same day.
Sue Spalding, Chief Executive Officer for the Alzheimer’s Association Minnesota, North Dakota Chapter, stresses the importance of helping individuals diagnosed with dementia to limit undue stress, which might accelerate the progression of the disease. So just how can family members best help their senior loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease to calmly navigate life during a pandemic? Here are several helpful tips:
- Stay calm. Although you may feel anxious and weighed down because of the state of the world, it’s better to keep from speaking about alarming issues or even watching the news with an individual with Alzheimer’s. Be sure to identify a suitable outlet for your feelings, however – your spouse or other family members, a therapist, or trusted friend.
- Stick with a routine. Keep in mind, certain previously enjoyed routines that entail outings or visits with loved ones might need to be put on hold; however, keep a predictable schedule that is reassuring to the senior loved one, such as a set time for meals, exercise, hobbies, and bedtime.
- Institute a backup plan. In the event that you were to become ill, who would be suitable to step up to care for your loved one? Strategizing now, prior to when the need arises, is critical. Partnering with a knowledgeable senior advocate, like Alivity Care Advocates, is the perfect solution.
And remember, it’s very important for you to take care of yourself, too! Make sure to designate time each day for relaxing, enjoyable activities to allow you to unwind and destress, to remain connected with friends and family, to follow a healthy diet and fitness regimen, and to get plenty of sleep. If carving out time for yourself is a struggle, let us know – we have the solution you need!
While we all continue to wait for a vaccine or effective treatment option for COVID-19, know that Alivity Care Advocates is equipped and prepared to provide the senior advocate services that help older adults access much-needed resources and assistance during these trying times. Reach out to us at (248) 375-9125 to learn more, and visit our Service Area page to see if we’re available to help in your area.