Addressing a Loved One’s Memory Loss and Home Care
There are a lot of resources out there to help family caregivers understand the experience of caring for a loved one with a degenerative neurological disorder, like Alzheimer’s and other related conditions. One thing that may be difficult to find, however, are strategies to address your loved one’s neurological health before they have been diagnosed with anything. In other words, how should you talk to your loved one if you suspect they are developing a degenerative neurological disease? Since symptoms can be related to other factors of aging, it is difficult to know what is a cause for concern and what is not. In this blog, we will go over ways you can communicate with your loved one to help work towards a solution together.
Not everybody likes to be told they are experiencing problems. Many times, people do not need to be told, and it can be a difficult topic for family members and friends to broach the topic. Since memory loss is also a general symptom of aging, one should not draw any conclusions until your loved one has visited a doctor.
Causes of memory loss are manifold, and it is important to understand the real reason as soon as possible, even if it is not the result of Alzheimer’s. For example, memory loss can be cause by depression, poor diet, nutrient deficiency, or liver problems. These kinds of problems are completely reversible with the guidance and advice from a medical doctor. If memory loss symptoms are more complicated, like being coupled with language problems, changes in behavior, changes in muscle movements, or emotional irregularities, then diagnosing the problem is a little harder.
Talking to your loved one about changes in their health is difficult, but it is an important decision if they require medical attention. Every family has their different history, so how you interact and communicate with your loved one and other family members will vary from situation to situation. The best thing you can do is to make sure your loved one has enough control over the situation if possible. For example, if you are trying to encourage your loved one to see the doctor, then phrase the question in a way that gives them a choice and some agency in the situation, as opposed to urging or demanding they should go. You can also affirm that they will not be left alone and that you will be there for them whenever they need you. Lastly, if you think your loved one will feel more comfortable going to the doctor with another trusted party, then try to enlist their help, like a close friend or another family member. Relying on a loved one’s trusted friend or someone similar can also be a good way to help you encourage your loved one to visit the doctor.
Another option is suggesting in-home care. This may or may not be more comfortable for your loved one and it will depend on participation on their part.
It may help to frame the situation in a different light to help your loved one acknowledge what they may need. Instead of equating home care with medical care, which may demoralize them, you could just suggest that they need some extra help around the house. This aid, may come from a nurse registry, like ElderCare at Home. With the help of a great caregiver, your loved one may be more accepting of the necessity and importance of having a professional caregiver.
If you have any questions, then please visit ElderCare at Home’s website for more information or call 561-585-0400.