For seniors with Alzheimer’s disease, there may come a time when they don’t recognize their nearest and dearest. When you’re busy caring for your aging parent every day, you may end up getting frequent reminders that he or she no longer recognizes or remembers you. In these tense situations, there are a few things you can do to help both yourself and your loved one.
Don’t Take It Personally
When your parent doesn’t recognize you, your first instinct is probably to feel upset, hurt, or even angry. If possible, take a deep breath, step back, and process these emotions. Remember your parent’s inability to recognize you has nothing to do with how important you are to him or her. When your parent forgets you but remembers a childhood pet, it isn’t because he or she loved the pet more. It’s because the disease has affected the part of the brain that stores memories of you. Though this may be upsetting and stressful for you, it doesn’t happen because your parent dislikes you.
The days, weeks, and months following an Alzheimer’s diagnosis can be challenging for both seniors and their families. However, these challenges can be made less stressful with the help of caregivers trained in professional Alzheimer’s care. Rocklin Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one enjoy the golden years while simultaneously managing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s.
Avoid Focusing on Confronting & Correction
Many family caregivers try to handle this stressful situation by repeatedly correcting their parents. It may be tempting to argue with your parent, reminding him or her of your name and relationship all the time. However, this doesn’t actually solve the problem. All it does is confuse or upset your parent. Instead, it can be simpler and healthier to just go with whatever scenario your parent has imagined. This cuts back on stress and ensures he or she feels as safe and happy as possible.
Caring for senior loved ones can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.
Use Multiple Methods to Trigger Memories
Memory is an incredibly complex mental process that can have a lot of triggers. Even if your face or name doesn’t cause your parent to recognize you, there are all sorts of other things that can remind him or her of your time together. Things like listening to a favorite song, smelling a family recipe as it bakes, or watching a favorite movie together can help your parent recall you. When doing these things, try to avoid pressuring your loved one. Don’t constantly ask your parent if he or she remembers you or ask him or her to guess your name. Focus on enjoying the activity with your parent instead of turning it into a stressful quiz.
Prioritize Showing Love, Affection, & Caring
It’s important to remind yourself that even when your parent doesn’t recognize you, you can still have a meaningful time together. Find activities you can do now to ensure your parent enjoys time with you. If your loved one can no longer speak, use things like a warm smile, a gentle hug, or other nonverbal ways to express your care. Even if your parent doesn’t seem to register it, he or she may still be able to pick up on how much he or she is loved.
A professional caregiver with expertise in caring for seniors with Alzheimer’s can be a wonderful source of support for your whole family. There are many reasons seniors might need assistance at home. Some may require regular mental stimulation due to an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, while others might only need part-time assistance with exercise and basic household tasks. Home Care Assistance is a leading Rocklin senior home care provider. Families rely on our expertly trained caregivers to help their senior loved ones maintain a high quality of life. Call us today at (916) 226-3737 to learn about our high-quality in-home care services.