Cognitive impairments alter how an individual acts, feels, or thinks. These changes present themselves in many forms and cause particular challenges for caregivers and families. For example, it can get frustrating when your loved one can’t remember an ordinary conversation you just had a minute ago. In some cases, as with conditions like dementia, the extent of impairment can be heartbreaking.†
Itís why many senior citizens need extra care and attention more often. They may need the support of nurses and caregivers to help them stay safe, healthy, and thriving.
If youíre looking after a senior loved one with cognitive impairments, here are some ways you can provide them with the help they need:
1.Enroll Your Loved One In Cognitive Impairment Programs
You need to consider many things when caring for an aged loved one with cognitive impairment. Safety is one of them, especially if the condition is a progressive one like Alzheimerís. To have peace of mind, enroll your loved one in cognitive programs. Theyíre offered by centers that work to improve and oversee their safety.†
Many programs provide 24-hour care and assistance if your loved one gets lost or wanders off. If further help is required, medical professionals can assist by checking on their condition and adjusting care plans to better meet their needs.†
2.Get Regular Medical Assessments
Your loved one must continue receiving extensive medical examinations from a qualified healthcare provider. Many cognitive conditions lead to complications that can impede your loved oneís ability to follow diets, maintain their hygiene, keep medication regimens, and stay safe and active. A checkup may spot when these become a serious problem and immediately provide solutions.†
In addition, recent drug treatments for health conditions like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease can be most beneficial in the early phases of an ailment. Medical examinations can help in correctly establishing treatment alternatives, determining risks, and seeing if these treatments are working for your loved one.†
3.Educate Yourself On The Disease Process
Educate your senior loved one, family, and yourself. Consult with doctors and health experts as well as people undergoing similar experiences. You can also research by reading books or online resources. Note what you’ve learned and store it in a file so you can refer back to it when necessary.
Doing so helps you understand whatís happening to your loved one, which resources they and the family may need, and what to expect in the future. This will boost your confidence in helping your loved one live the life they deserve despite their illness.†
4.Determine Their Needs
Consider care analysis tools that include questionnaires and tests to learn how much care your loved one requires. These tools also help determine individual care preferences, such as bathing in the evening rather than in the morning.
Assessments help you understand their need for the following:†
- Health care: This includes physical therapy, medicine administration, and doctor’s appointments.
- Personal care: Examples of personal care needs are dressing, toileting, bathing, and eating.
- Aid with home maintenance: This includes cooking, shopping, cleaning, finances, and laundry.
- Supervision: You may need to monitor your loved oneís safety at home and keep them from wandering.
- Emotional care: Itís helpful to have conversations, engage in meaningful activities, and keep your loved one company.†
Some health centers, county agencies, caregiver resource centers, or other private or government facilities offer assessments and consultations for aged persons at a small cost. These experts help direct you to the best care home services or in-home care providers.†
5.Establish A Baseline Of Information
This lays a foundation for making present and future care choices. Speak to your loved one, close family members, and friends, and ask them basic questions to know how theyíre faring. Responding to these questions may assist in painting an image of what’s happening and for how long. This primary info provides a practical overview and a crucial baseline for healthcare professionals who need to make more official assessments.
6.Come Up With A Care Plan
Creating a care plan will be easy once your loved one gets a diagnosis and completes a needs analysis. But ensure that you enlist help from a health professional to draft a care plan strategy. This should fit both your elderly loved one and their chosen caregiver. Itís a great idea to consider both short and long-term needs.
Your loved one’s needs will change as time goes by. So, write down all the things you need to do, resources you might need, and a list of support persons like friends, siblings, or neighbors who can help you adapt to the changes.
Helping a loved one with cognitive impairment comes with unique challenges. Fortunately, keeping these tips in mind can help you maneuver through them. If you’re new to this, educate yourself as much as possible about your loved one’s condition and plan accordingly. This way, you can help them continue living a life of joy and dignity as they go through the changes caused by their condition.