The Wildflower of Rigby has an amazing memory care unit, The Bluebell. It has 12 bedrooms and a centralized living room and kitchen. It’s secure, meaning that the building is accessed only by a keycard, and there is a fence that separates it from the assisted living building, The Lupine. While this is an amazing option for your loved ones who struggle with things like Dementia and Alzheimer’s, we understand that not everyone wants to go this route. If you want to go the route of caring for your loved ones at home, there are a few things you are going to need to do and remember.
The first step is to remember that this is like a completely new job. Becoming a caregiver is very full-time and it’s not fit for everyone. If you are wanting to be your loved one’s caregiver, you will need to ensure that you understand that this job doesn’t end at 5 pm. You also will need to fully understand their diagnosis and the assistance and possible medication they will need. You will also need to ensure that you can maintain a positive and upbeat attitude about being a caregiver for your loved one. It’s hard to see someone you love struggle and become different than how you knew them. It’s especially hard when there isn’t much you can do about these changes. However, you will need to be able to adapt quickly and cheerfully as new situations arise that need to be addressed.
The second step is to work with a healthcare professional. There are many hospice nurses that can work part-time as needed to assist with bathing, dressing, or administering a medication that you may be unable to do alone, or are not licensed to do! Working with a licensed nurse is also helpful if your loved one is facing other challenges like diabetes, blood pressure, etc. They can help you with managing these symptoms as well. Working with a dietician is also a good idea as those with memory problems may forget to eat or not eat foods with enough nutrition. The Wildflower of Rigby actually does Home Health Care Consulting as well to assist in caring from home.
The third step is to ensure you have taken all needed safety precautions. Things like rugs should be removed as much as possible from the home, getting your family member in a medical alert program with something like a necklace or bracelet to call for help, and getting something like a StairMaster if you have multiple levels in the home, can all help with ensuring your elderly loved one is safe navigating around the home. Safety in getting in and out of the home is also critical. The Wildflower of Rigby’s memory care unit, The Bluebell, is secure and only accessible by a key card. You will want to consider how you secure your home to protect your loved one. There are various other things to consider when making your home safe and working with a nurse or care consultant can help you ensure you make all those needed changes.
The fourth and final step that we want to discuss today is ensuring your loved one has enough stimulation in the day. You may be tempted to just turn on the TV and go about your day, but it’s very important to ensure that there is a good balance of relaxation and stimulation in your loved one’s day. Planning activities in advance is always very helpful and there are many things that you can still do with your loved one. Going on simple walks is a wonderful idea if they can manage, or talking them in their wheelchair. Memory games are also easy and can be very fun to do together. Something as simple as a puzzle can also be a great stimulating activity. It’s also important to help them socialize. If you have a senior activity center in your area, consider taking your loved one there a couple of afternoons to help them socialize and take advantage of the activities there.
We know that it’s not easy to care for elderly loved ones at home but we know that some are up to this challenge. We want to assist in any way you need and hope that you take these steps before bringing a loved one into your home. Take the time to understand the risks and benefits of caring for a loved one with memory problems before doing it and get all the help you need to prepare and ensure that your loved one has a wonderful quality of life!