Living at a distance from those we dearly love is never easy. And caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease is challenging, to say the least. Put the two together, and you’ve got a recipe for a level of stress and concern that may seem insurmountable.
Dr. Verna Benner Carson, creator of the Alzheimer’s Whisperer® program, shares the following strategies to help alleviate the feelings of helplessness that go hand in hand with trying to manage long distance care:
- First and foremost, discuss issues of care with your family, including your loved one with Alzheimer’s, while he or she is in the early stages of the disease.
- Engage the services of good legal counsel, preferably an elder care attorney.
- Look into geriatric care management in your loved one’s community, for help in accessing appropriate resources as well as locating a qualified home care agency. Certain private duty home care agencies, such as Nightingale Homecare, are licensed by the state Health Department of Health Services, and managed by registered nurses with access to immeasurable qualified resources to support your loved one at home. The Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers is another resource to help you get started.
- Keep a list of helpful community-based support providers, such as:
- Aging services
- Meal delivery options, such as Meals on Wheels
- Durable medical equipment suppliers
- Emergency alert providers
- If your loved one is a member of a faith-based community, tap into that resource for possible assistance with transportation, meals, errands, and companionship.
- Stay in contact as often as possible with your loved one:
- Checking in with brief phone conversations can go a long way in providing peace of mind to a long-distance family caregiver, even when the disease progresses to the point that the person with Alzheimer’s may no longer recognize your voice.
- Receiving letters and pictures (clearly marked with names, places, and event details) is always a welcome bright spot in the life of someone with Alzheimer’s.
- Easy to use computers with Skype and other communications access are an option for some elders, and can provide instant contact with your loved one.
If your loved one with Alzheimer’s disease lives in the areas of Phoenix, Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, or Maricopa County, AZ, we would love the opportunity to partner with you in providing safe, compassionate, and specialized Alzheimer’s home care. As the only agency in the area certified as Alzheimer’s Whisperers, our staff have been fully trained through Dr. Verna Benner-Carson’s unique approach to managing even the most difficult challenges of dementia, including wandering, repetition, bathing and dressing issues, uncooperative behaviors, sundowning, eating and swallowing difficulties, and much more. Call us any time at 602-504-1555, or complete our simple online contact form to let us know how we can help.