Guilt. That ugly feeling we get when we are not reaching our expectations. We often feel like we are letting someone down especially a loved one. But in reality, the person we have probably let down the most is us.
As caregivers, we have front-line responsibility to manage medication for others. Oftentimes senior citizens have multiple doctors utilized for the variety of physical, mental, and emotional needs they encounter late in life. With multiple physicians, and multiple symptoms, seniors have the potential to be over medicated. I was in a seminar where a physician quoted a medical journal stating that, “if anyone is taking eight or more medications there is a very high probability that adverse medication interactions are occurring.” Some things that we “non-physicians” can do to monitor medication usage, and possibly alert the medical professionals are to identify where double dosing seems to be prescribed or OTC medications might be problematic in individual’s regimen:
We have all heard the studies about exercise and how it helps us physically, mentally, and emotionally care for our bodies. But does that really include senior citizens? They're too old to start to exercise right? They can't exercise because what if they fall? Their mental health won't allow them to right? My loved one has arthritis and can't exercise because it will increase the pain right? WRONG!! Studies have proven that exercise in senior citizens will help them in numerous ways.
David Perlumetter in the quote above brings many thoughts to the forefront of our mind. Why is that the case? Why do we fear dementia above all else? Why does it strike a nerve in our hearts when a loved one forgets where they were driving to, or an experience that you both shared? Is it because we as humans do not like change and dementia is such a drastic change? Is it because we don't understand what it feels like and we can't be empathetic or understanding? So many questions can be posed after the diagnoses of demetia.
When someone we love starts to have a cognitive decline, we are faced with the reality they are growing older and there is no way we can prevent it. We are faced with the reality that we will have to say goodbye. Unfortunatly with demetia, we may be saying goodbye to them before their phyiscal body passes on. What can we do?
50 million people worldwide have been diagnosed with Dementia by 2017 and it is projected to reach 76 million people by 2030. With this increase it is becoming more common to know someone personally who has been diagnosed with demetia or a type of demetia. We are in a time where we need more information, and more care for those living with demetia.
While in the past there has been a negative stigma about assisted living facilities for seniors, that no longers remains the case. Assisted living facilities have changed over time to provide the level of care and independence in a safe environment that a person with dementia needs to continue to thrive and lead the best quality of life they are able to.
In most cultures it is engrained in us to take care of our family, our parents, and grandpartents. We feel the need to hold on as long as possible on our own. Dementia is a disease that needs to be managed, and managed early on. It is admirable to take on the role of the care giver to your family member, but soon it becomes very overwhelming and can become unsafe for those living with demetia and their family members. Memory services within an assited living are designed to encompass the particular needs of demetia patients. From medication managment, to activities that are directed towards cognitive function and motor skills. Along side managing the disease we focus on their basic care needs: Bathing, dietary, and a safe enviorment etc.. Utilizing these services lets the family member resume the role of spouse, son, daughter, or loved one.
Bel Aire Senior Living in American Fork has an excellent memory services wing that provides help and safety for your loved one that is living with demetia. It provides the level of care they need and monitoring to ensure their safety. Bel Aire has amazing staff that will tend to the specific needs of your family member. If you have questions or would like to discuss options for someone you care about. Please fill out the information on our website and call us today!