Providing home care services for a senior loved one with Alzheimer’s disease can be complicated under the best of conditions; add in a global pandemic, one that calls for social distancing, personal protective equipment (PPE), and intensive sanitation of both ourselves and our home environment, and the challenge might seem insurmountable.
Advanced Home Health Care’s dementia care team provides the following tips for Alzheimer’s caregivers to help keep both seniors and their caregivers safe:
- Make self-care a top priority. Now more than ever before, it’s very important to determine your own personal level of stress, and take action to make sure you’re in good health – both physically and emotionally. You can only give the best caregiving help for your loved one if your own needs are met. This may mean decreasing time spent watching the news and on social media, maintaining connections with friends and relatives, and making time for comforting, enjoyable activities.
- Focus on personal cleanliness. Proper handwashing techniques are vital for everyone, but may be tricky for those with Alzheimer’s to uphold. Depending on the senior’s stage of the disease, it might help to wash your hands alongside one another, showing the steps to your loved one; or, position signs next to the sink in the bathroom and kitchen with a reminder to wash for 20 seconds. And recognize that repetition, a common behavior in dementia, may work to your advantage in this case.
- Choose your words carefully. When speaking to a senior with Alzheimer’s about changes linked to COVID-19, it’s important to keep it very simple, using a calm and reassuring tone. Beth Kallmyer, Vice President of Care and Support at the Alzheimer’s Association, recommends statements such as, “We have to stay inside because that’s most safe for us, but we’ll do it together. I’ll be with you and we’ll be okay.”
- Be sure to have a backup plan. In the event that you were diagnosed with COVID-19 yourself, or another medical condition that would stop you from safely providing home care for a loved one with dementia, it’s critical to have a plan in place for who could step in to fulfill your caregiving responsibilities. A competent home care agency, like Advanced Home Health Care, is the ideal choice, with aides who are skilled in specialized Alzheimer’s care.
Let Advanced Home Health Care help. Our specialized dementia caregivers are fully trained and experienced in both following proper protocol associated with minimizing the danger for contracting coronavirus, and in the unique type of care that is most effective for people with dementia. Give us a call at 800.791.7785 to learn more about our Burlington memory care services and other senior care services we provide. To learn more about the other areas that we serve in Iowa aside from Burlington, please visit our Service Area page.