Having a loved one diagnosed with Alzheimer's, even in the early stages, can be overwhelming. It's important to understand that this type of condition progresses, and over time, your loved one is going to need more care and support. In fact, there may come a point where you need to hire an in-home caregiver.
Knowing the early signs of progression can help you to identify when you should looking for supportive care. Here are some of the warning signs that you should watch for:
Struggling with Routine Tasks
When Alzheimer's reaches moderate development, you might notice some difficulties with self-care and household tasks. If routine hygiene and typical household cleaning have become a struggle, that is an indication that he or she needs some routine support. You might even notice that instructions beyond a single step become difficult for your loved one to process.
This is a normal progression of Alzheimer's, and is another sign that more support may be necessary. One of the biggest concerns at this stage of the disease is the increased risk of injuries while cooking or working around the house due to the lack of focus.
Skipping or Overlooking Meals
Proper nutrition is an essential part of aging, but seniors who have Alzheimer's may actually forget to eat. Without that routine cognitive understanding of when meal times are, even traditional feelings of hunger can be overlooked. Make sure that you make snack foods available on a regular basis and make healthy choices convenient.
Consider setting alarms for meal times as a gentle reminder and then reaching out to a home care service if he or she is in need of more care and support to reinforce meals.
Restlessness and Insomnia
Trouble sleeping is a common marker of Alzheimer's progression.
If your loved one seems abnormally sleepy or fatigued during the day, it may be because of sleeplessness at night. Identifying these signs early is important. Establish a solid bedtime routine using timers and a picture board for memory if needed. These routines are essential for the body's melatonin production, which encourages sleep.
Some of the best things you can do leading up to bedtime is to plan a light snack in conjunction with soft, low music. Encourage your loved one to sit and rock or otherwise rest for a few minutes to help calm the body and start the natural sleep processes. When your loved one is overlooking preparations like these and struggling with sleep, an in-home care specialist may be able to help guide him or her through the routines.
There is no standard time-frame to expect that your loved one will need home care support. Alzheimer's disease does not progress at the same rate for every patient, so knowing what to watch for is key. With the information here, you can help to identify the earliest indications that your loved one needs in-home support to manage his or her condition.
To learn more, contact a company like ComForcare - Roseville, CA with any questions or concerns you have.