Many caretakers find it grueling when the elderly are suffering from Alzheimer’s and fear seclusion. The uneasiness can cause the elderly of your house to tag along not to lose sight of you. Those affected by Alzheimer’s are so anxious that they will get angry even if you leave them for a moment. At such a juncture, it is a difficult task for young members to leave for work. The temper tantrums that they throw are difficult to handle. Memory care in Mississippi offers comfortable housing with well-trained staff to take care of Alzheimer’s patients.
What causes fear?
People with Alzheimer’s are reluctant to be separated from their caregivers because the patient already feels secluded from the self. They cannot recognize their identity, and separation from others makes them agitated. They feel abandoned at the thought of being alone. It is a common phenomenon under any memory impairment, whether it is Alzheimer’s or dementia. When the elderly shudders at being alone and come behind you, it is called shadowing. The disease makes the patient regard their caretakers as the center of their world. They feel as if you are the only person who can understand them and protect them. The senior citizen you are dealing with feels paranoid and out of place without your presence.
One of the horrifying side effects of memory impairment is shadowing and proves to be daunting for primary caregivers.
Here are a few ways in which Alzheimer patients can cope with this discomfort
Involve more trustworthy people in caretaking
The ideal way to support your elderly and make them feel protected is to involve more than one person for their guardianship. You must expand their world but very subtly so that they do not feel uneasy with strangers around.
Just as a child gets accustomed to a new member, similarly, an older adult with Alzheimer’s takes time to rely on strangers. The new caregivers must begin with helping the elderly with their chores, and eventually, you will find them being included in the patient’s comfort zone while you are not available. Memory care communities provide the best care for Alzheimer patients and comfort them at the time of seclusion.
Use various distraction techniques to redirect behavior
It is not sensible to disregard older people when they feel paranoid as you are out of sight. Initially, you must try to validate their feelings and be responsive to their complaints. There is no need to panic and be emotional when they hold you accountable for leaving them alone. You must acknowledge that their behavior is due to their disease and try to remain calm in such situations. Once they realize that you are not proving them wrong, they will not behave fanatically. The next step is to distract them with other things so that they may forget the situation. Keep them involved in various activities and give them company. Once they feel secure, they will forget about the pain. Take them for a walk in the park and let them enjoy nature. Make their favorite snack or drink and enjoy the meal together. Distractions are the best way to deal with memory-impaired patients.
Record your voice to keep them occupied in your absence
The caregivers are the lifeline of the Alzheimer’s patient. It is their means of connection to the world outside to which they no longer belong. If you have to leave your senior alone, make sure that you record your voice to comfort them in your absence. If they keep listening to your recordings, they will be able to feel your presence around them. Read a book or sing their favorite song to them in the recording. Your video or voice will be enough to soothe them during separation.
Involve them in some simple and repetitive chore in your absence
To bring comfort to your elderly, set small tasks to be done by them to keep their mind off the terror. Setting the table, folding clothes, and organizing a wardrobe are little responsibilities that keep them occupied in your absence. They may or may not accomplish the work assigned to them, but they will surely keep themselves busy and satisfied.
Teach them the sense of time with different types of equipment
Studies have revealed that Alzheimer’s patients lose their ability to acknowledge the sense of time. Even if you go out for 5 minutes, it may seem like a day to them and vice versa. To make your job easier, you must use a stopwatch or an egg timer to aid their memory. A few minutes timer as you use the washroom or an alarm for one hour as you go down to get groceries might be of some help. Use an alarm clock and explain to them that you will return as the buzzer rings. Look out for different ways to teach them how to keep track of time.
These are some ways that can make life easy for you; however, you must take professional help to protect your loved ones from accidents.