Currently, according to the Alzheimer's Foundation of America, there are more than five million Americans who could suffer from Alzheimer's disease and this number is growing. As individuals get older, their risk of developing this disease increases. The Foundation reports that many family members often step in to act as caregivers for their loved ones who suffer from the disease. If you are currently helping one of your loved ones out at their home because they have early Alzheimer's, you need know the signs of when it is time for you to consider getting outside professional help. After all, there will come a time when you can't be your loved one's caregiver despite the fact that you will want to. Here are three things to look for:
1. Unable to Perform Routine Tasks
With Alzheimer's, it isn't uncommon for an individual to eventually lose their ability to perform mundane tasks. In many cases, they will stop being able to dress themselves, brush their hair and teeth, use the toilet, and take a bath. They may be unable to drive themselves to the grocery store and doctor appointments. It is also likely that they will find it difficult to do housework, such as dishes and laundry. With additional help at the house, your loved one will have assistance with all of these day-to-day tasks.
2. Unsafe to Be Alone
In addition to being unable to perform everyday tasks, individuals will often run into mobility or cognitive issues that cause safety issues at home. This makes it dangerous for your family member to be left alone. For example, some people may leave a stove burner on when they're finished cooking a meal or may fall more frequently than usual. Assisted living will ensure that someone is always watching your loved one when you can't be there.
3. Unusually Bored and Lonely
When a loved one is without social interaction for an extended period of time, there is a good chance that he or she will become depressed. Bringing outside help in can give your loved one someone new to share their stores with and interact with, which will help them eliminate their boredom and loneliness.
Remember, an emergency does not always have to occur for you to ask for help. It's okay to get help before then. Sometimes, you may just need a break, and that's okay. Asking for assistance is not a sign of weakness. In many cases, it will help you focus more on strengthening your relationship with your loved one and can add additional companionship for them as well. If you're ready to consider a little extra and tailored help, reach out to a professional service in your area who specializes with those with the Alzheimer's disease.