Think of your father. What is his favorite food? His favorite hobby? Where did he meet your mother? What is his proudest moment? Think of all these memorable moments in his life and ask another question: Does he have trouble remembering these moments?
For the nearly 2 million men currently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease (AD), this tragic memory loss is very real. And for the adult children transitioning from the role of fishing buddy or board game partner to caregiver, the stress can be considerable.
Many families are impacted in some way by Alzheimer’s disease. Every 67 seconds, a loved one in the United States is diagnosed with AD, and this devastating condition affects not only the patients themselves, but all who love and care for them. Today, 60 percent of family members provide care for an aging parent.
In honor of Father’s Day, here are some tips that caregivers can utilize to better manage their stress and provide the best possible care for their parents.
- Education is essential. It can make for difficult reading, but educating yourself about AD can help mitigate stress. By better understanding the condition as a whole, you’ll feel better prepared for what may come next.
- Exercise every option. Make the most of medical visits with your parent’s doctor. Use these visits to ask questions about symptom progression and learn about available treatment options.
- Remember that you are not alone. Serving as a caregiver for a parent can be a lonely task, but you are not alone. If you are serving as your parent’s primary caregiver, seek the support of other family members, friends, or even a neighbor to come and spend time with your parent so you can enjoy some personal time. Just a few hours can do wonders to alleviate your stress.
There are numerous things you can do to improve the patient experience for your parent. Start by acting as a patient advocate and a compassionate caregiver. Your efforts will benefit your father every single day.
For strategies in caring for loved ones suffering from Alzheimer’s, please visit alzheimersunconditionallove.com.