Raising Awareness during National Alzheimer’s Month

November 1, 2019

November is National Alzheimer’s Month. Here are a few ways you can help raise awareness about this difficult disease.

When a senior loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, the whole family feels the impact. From wanting to feel connected to needing assistance with personal care, your loved one will eventually require round-the-clock support.

The emotional side of watching a loved one’s physical, emotional, and mental well-being decline can be devastating. The disease often leaves friends and family members feeling helpless. Some find empowerment as advocates in the search for treatment and a cure for Alzheimer’s.

November is National Alzheimer’s Month. It is the perfect time for families to raise awareness about a disease that 5.8 million Americans are living with.

Advocating for Seniors with Alzheimer’s Disease

If you and your family want to become Alzheimer’s advocates, we have a few ideas for you to consider:

1. Raise awareness:

There is an overall lack of awareness about what Alzheimer’s disease is and how it impacts families. You can help change that by sharing your knowledge and experience. Post updates on your social media channels. Write a “Letter to the Editor” for your community’s newspaper. Recruit friends to form a team for your local Walk to End Alzheimer’s.

2. Contact legislators:

Grassroots advocacy can impact legislation at both the state and federal levels. By signing up for Action Alerts, you may be able to influence your elected officials. You might ask for their vote on a funding program or with laws related to health care. Alzheimer’s organizations will contact you for help making phone calls or sending emails about important, time-sensitive advocacy issues.

3. Participate in a clinical trial:

It’s a myth that clinical trials only seek people with Alzheimer’s disease. Many trials look for healthy participants, too. If your schedule permits, call your local chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association to learn about trials happening near you.

4. Donate and raise money:

If you are able, donating to an Alzheimer’s organization is another way to advocate. The Alzheimer’s Association and the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America help fund research, professional caregiver training, family resources, and more.

Even small things, like wearing a purple ribbon during November, can start a conversation about Alzheimer’s that educates people.

Memory Care for Adults with Dementia

If you or someone in your family is feeling overwhelmed by their role as an Alzheimer’s caregiver, it may be time to consider a move to a memory care community. Memory care programs are designed to help seniors with Alzheimer’s or a similar form of dementia live their best life despite the disease.

At Legacy Senior Living, our highly regarded memory care is known as The Harbor. These programs are designed to be a refuge from the storms associated with memory disorders. We invite you to call the Legacy community nearest you to learn more about memory care.

Ideas for Working Exercise into a Busy Caregiver Day

October 21, 2019

Caregivers often make their own health a low priority. It can lead to a health crisis. These tips can help busy caregivers find time to exercise.

Here are tips for exercising as a caregiver

Finding time for self-care isn’t easy when you are a busy family caregiver. Depending on how much care your relative needs and how far away they live, making time to exercise three or four days a week might seem unrealistic. The reality is, caregivers need to think of exercise as a necessity and not a luxury.

There is considerable evidence to show that caregivers who don’t take care of themselves end up experiencing a health crisis. Ask yourself, who will be able to care for your senior loved one if that happens? Fortunately, there are easy ways to work exercise into a busy caregiver’s schedule.

Exercise Tips for Family Caregivers

1. Master desk aerobics

If you work outside the home, as many family caregivers do, finding time to exercise can be even more difficult. Getting creative during the workday can help. If you spend even part of your day at a desk, try exercising from a seated position. Under the desk bike pedal exercisers are an option to explore. Desk aerobics can help build strength and flexibility. You might also want to consider replacing your desk chair with an exercise ball, at least for part of the workday.

2. Change your habits

In the course of a busy day, most of us look for ways to get things done quickly. From looking for the nearest parking spot to taking the elevator instead of climbing the stairs, our lifestyles are built around convenience. When you are trying to work more exercise into your day, however, convenience should take a back seat.

Whenever you can do so safely, park far away from the door. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, and maybe go up and down them a few extra times. Do a few squats or lunges when you are on the phone or drying your hair in the morning. The goal is to find small ways to take more steps or engage in a little exercise throughout the day.

3. Exercise with your senior loved one

Exercising with the family member you are caring for is another option. Talk with their physician about what types of exercise are a good fit for them. Chair yoga, walking, hand weights, resistance bands, and swimming are a few to consider. If you enjoy bike riding, purchasing an adult tricycle might be a way for your older loved one to safely join you for a spin around the neighborhood.

4. Divide and conquer to meet exercise goals

Physicians often suggest adults set a goal of 150 minutes of exercise each week. For a busy caregiver, that can sound overwhelming. The good news is even 10 or 15 minutes of exercise at a time can yield the same results as working out for longer periods of time.

Take a look at your schedule each day and look for times you can work in short periods of exercise. It might be a 15-minute yoga session before you take your morning shower or 20 minutes on a recumbent bike while you are watching the evening news.

Respite for the Weary Caregiver

If your caregiving duties have you feeling worn out and stressed out, there is a short-term care solution you might want to consider. Respite at an assisted living community gives your loved one a safe place to stay while you take a break.

Legacy communities offer respite for a few days or a few weeks. You can take advantage of this type of care as often as you need to. Respite guests enjoy the same level of care and the same type of services as long-term residents. Call the community nearest you to learn more or schedule a tour!

Should You Look for Senior Living Close to Your Home or an Adult Child’s?

October 16, 2019

Should you retire near your current home or move near your adult child? Here are a few factors to consider before deciding.

Should you move close to your home or you child's home?

Choosing a senior living community isn’t always easy. With a variety of housing types available, finding the one that best meets your needs can take time and research. One of the first decisions you’ll need to make is where you want to start looking.

Many seniors find themselves debating whether they should move near an adult child’s home or find a senior living community near their current home. Even after exploring communities in both places, the decision may not be clear. If you are struggling, we have a few suggestions that might help.

Where to Search for Senior Living

If you take the following factors into consideration, you’ll likely arrive at an informed decision:

1. Is the quality of senior living better in one area?

This is clearly an important consideration. While most cities and towns have a variety of options from which to choose, some are often better than others. We always recommend families spend time reviewing state survey results of any community they are considering. Many states now publish these online to make it easier for seniors and their adult children to access. Check your state’s Department of Aging or Department of Human Services site for more information.

2. Is your adult child likely to move?

Career choices often require adult children to move to another city or state. Sometimes families are separated by great distances. Another key determinant in deciding if you want to move closer to an adult child is how long they will be there. If their job may require them to move again, you could find yourself alone in a new place without family nearby.

3. Which location offers greater companionship?

Many people want to be close to their loved ones as they grow older. When you are relocating away from a place you lived for decades to an all-new environment, it may be tough to start over. This is especially true if your adult child is busy with a career and family of their own.

If you are a senior who has a wide circle of friends you see often and a social life that you enjoy, staying close to your current home may be best. If you don’t have a supportive circle of friends nearby, relocating closer to family may be a better choice.

4. How well do you adapt to change?

Moving to a senior living community can be a big transition that takes time to adapt to. If you are someone for whom change is difficult, you might find it very difficult to relocate far from your longtime home. A senior living community near your current home might make for an easier transition.

By contrast, if you are someone who loves new adventures, the opportunity to explore a new city or state might be a welcome change.

Senior Living in the Southeast

If your search for a senior living community takes you to Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee or Virginia, we hope you will make time to visit us. With fourteen senior living communities in the southeast, Legacy offers a variety of options. Contact the community in your desired location to schedule a private tour today!

What to Do If You Are Diagnosed with Alzheimer’s

October 7, 2019

If you’ve been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, you might be overwhelmed. These tips can help you figure out what to do next.

After Alzheimer's diagnosis

Hearing the news that the forgetfulness you’ve been struggling with is Alzheimer’s disease is tough to comprehend. It’s common to worry about your future, and how your new diagnosis will impact the people you love. If this is the situation you find yourself in, we have a few suggestions we hope will help you cope.

Preparing for Life with Alzheimer’s Disease

1. Give yourself time to process the news

If you’ve been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, it’s easy to assume that living a quality life isn’t possible. Seniors who hear this news often think they’ll need to immediately move to a memory care community. Unless your physician has made that recommendation, give yourself and your loved ones time to come to terms with this diagnosis.

Talk to a counselor or join a support group for adults living with dementia. The Alzheimer’s Association in your area can connect you with both of these resources. It will likely benefit your family members if they join an in-person or online support group, too. ALZConnected has information and forums for both the senior who has the disease and the family members who love them.

2. Adopt a healthy lifestyle

While there is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, research shows lifestyle choices may slow the progression of the disease. A healthy diet, exercise, and sleep are vital.

The Mediterranean Diet is one that is often recommended. It is based on menus that are heavy in fruits, vegetables, nuts, fish, and whole grains, and light on dairy and red meat. Researchers believe the heart-healthy benefits of this diet help to protect the brain.

It may also be beneficial to find fitness activities that lower stress. Swimming, biking, walking, and chair yoga are a few to try.

3. Talk with an attorney

If you haven’t already done so, now is the time to meet with an attorney and discuss what legal documents you’ll need to have in place. A legal professional can help to determine what you need, such as a will, a power of attorney, or a trust. These documents will ensure that your voice is heard when it comes time for family members to make decisions on your behalf.

An elder law attorney might be especially helpful. You can find one by searching the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys database.

4. Get to know local dementia care options

It will probably give you and your family members peace of mind to know there are a wide range of Alzheimer’s care options. From home care agencies that provide assistance with grocery shopping, menu planning, personal care, and light housekeeping to dedicated memory care communities—the choices are abundant.

You might find it easier to have a trusted loved one explore these options with you or possibly on your behalf. It’s usually better to do this before you actually need to utilize any of these services.

Memory Care Services at Legacy Senior Living

At Legacy Senior Living, our nationally acclaimed memory care programs are known as The Harbor. We strive to make them a peaceful, secure refuge from the challenges associated with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. We encourage you or your loved ones to call the nearest community to learn more.

Shoo the Flu: Senior and Caregiver Flu Prevention Tips

October 1, 2019

Flu season can be especially hard on older adults. Use these tips to stay healthy and keep a senior loved one safe too.

Cup of Tea

Younger people often consider the flu to be more of an inconvenience than a serious health concern, which really isn’t the case. The influenza virus can be deadly, especially for older adults. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, seniors account for as much as 85 percent of flu-related deaths and up to 70 percent of hospitalizations.

While receiving the flu vaccine is one of the best ways to avoid being bitten by the bug, there are other steps seniors and caregivers can take to stay healthy.

Flu Prevention Tips for Seniors and Caregivers

1. Limit personal contact

The flu virus can pass from one person to another very easily. A handshake, a hug, or sharing the same drinking fountain can put you at risk for catching the virus. This is especially true for older adults or people with a chronic health condition that causes the immune system to weaken. One way to avoid the virus is by limiting personal contact during flu season. A big smile and warm greeting can convey your happiness about seeing someone without putting you at risk.

2. Wash your hands often

Developing good hand-washing hygiene can help you keep the flu at bay. The virus can linger on doorknobs, credit card readers, and other public locations. Wash your hands with hot, soapy water throughout the day. For times when you won’t have access to hot water and soap, keep a small bottle of alcohol-based hand sanitizer in your purse or pocket.

3. Avoid touching your face

A quick scratch on the side of your nose, pushing the hair off of your face, rubbing tired or irritated eyes; if you’ve been exposed to the influenza virus and have it on your hands, these often unconscious actions put you at risk of developing the flu. Most people don’t realize how many times they touch their face throughout the day. Try to make a conscious effort to keep your hands away from your face during flu season.

4. Sleep seven to nine hours every night

Sleep is an important—but often overlooked—component of a healthy lifestyle. Lack of sleep can cause the immune system to weaken. When this happens, the body has to struggle more to fight off viruses. Health professionals say most adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep each night. If you are one of the many seniors who struggle with insomnia, talk to your doctor. There may be an underlying health condition that can be treated.

5. Commit to eating a healthy diet

A well-balanced diet is another must when it comes to keeping the immune system healthy and able to fight off viruses. A diet rich with vegetables, fruit, and lean protein is best. If you aren’t sure how to plan healthy menus, the online resource Choose MyPlate offers a variety of helpful tools.

On Guard for Flu Symptoms

Despite your best attempts at preventing the flu, you might find yourself or a senior loved one coming down with the flu. Call your physician immediately when the first flu symptoms appear. There are antiviral medications physicians can prescribe to help lessen the severity of symptoms and shorten the length of time you are sick. They must be started at the first sign of the flu to be effective, so don’t delay calling the doctor.

Live Well at Legacy Senior Living

At Legacy Senior Living communities throughout the southeast, healthy living is a focus every day. From nutritious meals to on-site wellness programs, we make it easier for residents to live their best quality of life. Call the Legacy community nearest you to learn more!

3 Tips for Parting with a Senior’s Home

September 24, 2019

 

If you are helping a senior loved one prepare to sell their home, the process can be emotional. These tips can make the parting a little easier.

Moving is tough at any age. Cleaning out the closets, arranging for movers, and packing up belongings is a lot of hard work. Parting with a house you love and where you have created good memories can make the transition more difficult. This is especially true for older adults who have often lived in the same house for decades. In many instances, the senior is giving up the home where they raised their family.

If your senior loved one is struggling with this new chapter in life, we have a few suggestions that might help.

Helping a Senior Part with Their Home

1. Document the life and history of the house.

Much of what makes it difficult for a senior to part with their house is likely the memories that were made in it. Finding a meaningful way to document the good times—and bad times—that happened there might make the transition a little less emotional.

You can use old videos to create a story of the home and family over the years. If you don’t have old videos available, there are platforms that allow you to turn photos into a video. Animoto and Smilebox are two free ones to try. You might also consider creating a photo album the senior can look at and enjoy for years to come.

2. Bring a part of the home and garden with them.

An older adult may find it easier to part with their home if they can take a piece of it with them when they move. It might be a few of their favorite flowers from the perennial garden, a raspberry bush from the backyard, or an antique light from the dining room. Help them figure out what they love most about the house and how it may be possible to bring their favorite things along with them.

3. Host a going away party before leaving.

While it may not seem feasible when you are busy packing and preparing to leave, hosting a simple potluck might help your senior loved one find closure. It can give everyone in your family member’s life a chance to celebrate in the home one last time. Be sure to take a lot of photos and videos to document the party!

Be Patient During the Transition

One final suggestion is to be patient with your older loved one and yourself. Change is difficult, and some days will be better than others. If you have realistic expectations, it will likely make the transition easier for the entire family.

Visit a Legacy Senior Living Community

If you are searching for a senior living community in the southeast, we invite you to visit Legacy Senior Living. With locations in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, and Virginia, we have options to meet every need and interest. Call us at 423-478-8071 to learn more!

Coping with Repetitive Questions When a Senior Has Memory Loss

September 16, 2019

Repetitive behaviors, such as asking the same question over and over, are common when a senior has Alzheimer’s. The damage the disease causes to their short-term memory makes it tough for them to learn, retain, and recall new information. This means a senior may struggle to remember the answer to a question they have already asked, even if it was only moments ago.

While most Alzheimer’s caregivers understand their loved one can’t help this behavior, it’s nonetheless stressful and frustrating. Finding ways to manage it is important.

Repetitive Questions from Alzheimer's Patients

4 Ways for Alzheimer’s Caregivers to Manage Repetitive Questions

  1. Identify potential triggers.

In some cases, there is a reason a loved one with Alzheimer’s is repeatedly asking the same question. Trying to figure out what is triggering the question can help you find a way to address it. It may be something in their environment that is the culprit.

For example, a photo of a grandchild might be causing the senior to wonder where they are. Even though you answer that they are away at work or college, the older adult can’t retain that information. It may be easier to remove the photo from the room until the senior moves on to engage in a different activity and forgets about the question and photo.

1. Redirecting their attention.

Family caregivers also say redirecting their loved one’s attention can help to reduce repetitive questions. This involves giving a senior with Alzheimer’s something new to focus on. The goal is to distract them from whatever it is that they are preoccupied with.

For example, if a loved one with Alzheimer’s is repeating the same question, answer it and then quickly redirect their attention to something new. A chore or task like folding clothes or helping dry dishes might help them to refocus.

2. Provide opportunities for meaningful activity.

In some instances, repetitive questions are the result of an older adult being bored, anxious, or agitated. Repetition is their way of alleviating that discomfort. By providing the seniors with meaningful activities, a caregiver may be able to help them find peace.

Here are several meaningful activities that an adult with Alzheimer’s can do:

  • Look through family photo albums
  • Fold a basket full of clean towels
  • Sort of a deck of playing cards by color or number
  • Dust non-breakable objects around the home
  • Arrange flowers in a plastic vase

3. Take caregiving breaks.

Caregiving for an adult with Alzheimer’s is mentally and physically exhausting. It’s vital that you take frequent breaks so you can continue to provide good care. If you don’t have another friend or family member available to assist with caregiving duties, respite care might be a solution.

Short-term respite care at an assisted living community is designed to give caregivers a break. The older adult can stay in the community for a few days or weeks while the caregiver has time to restore their sense of well-being.

Memory Care at Legacy Senior Living

The around-the-clock demands associated with keeping a senior with Alzheimer’s safe can take a toll on a caregiver’s health. Despite your best efforts, the day might come when managing a loved one’s care at home is too much. That’s where a quality memory care program, like those at Legacy Senior Living communities, can be an ideal solution. Call us today at 423-478-8071 to learn more!

Overcoming Caregiver Isolation and Staying Connected

September 9, 2019

If your role as a caregiver has left you feeling lonely and isolated, these tips can help you find balance again.

Caregiver isolation

Becoming a caregiver for an older family member can be rewarding. Providing one-on-one support to someone who cared for you as a child may allow the two of you to build meaningful memories during what is often a difficult time. The downside of family caregiving, however, is that it can be isolating, especially if the senior has challenges that make it tough for them to leave the house.

How Do Caregivers Become Isolated?

While it usually doesn’t happen overnight, caregivers often find themselves isolated and alone as time goes on. It usually starts gradually. The caregiver gives up a few favorite hobbies or social organizations they just don’t have time for. As the senior loved one’s condition worsens, the family member gives up more and more. They often fail to realize how lonely they’ve become until considerable time has passed.

Here are two more reasons a family caregiver may become isolated:

  • Sense of obligation: Adult children and spouses who are caregivers might feel a strong sense of obligation when it comes to taking care of their family member. This leads them to think no one else can provide the quality of care their loved one needs and deserves. Even if other family members offer to help, they may decline the assistance.
  • Not familiar with senior care: Some family caregivers don’t realize how many senior care options are available in their area. While most know about nursing homes, fewer are familiar with respite care, adult day centers, and assisted living communities. Short-term care, also known as respite care, at an assisted living community can give a weary caregiver an opportunity to take a break for a week or so. It also allows them to test out the community and see if it is a good fit for the senior to move to on a long-term basis.

If you are a family caregiver who is battling loneliness and isolation, we have a few suggestions for helping you reconnect.

3 Ways to Regain Balance When You Are a Caregiver

  1. Investigate senior care options: Most caregivers are surprised to discover how many senior care options are available in their own neighborhood. If you aren’t familiar with them, a great place to start learning more is the local area agency on aging. This nonprofit agency designed to address the needs of older adults often maintains connections with senior living communities and transportation services.
  2. Reconnect with friends and loved ones: Having a strong social network is good for your mental and physical well-being. If you’ve lost touch with your support system while you’ve been busy caregiving, make a list of individuals you want to reconnect with. Call one or two people a day to catch up. Let them know you have missed them and that the responsibilities of caregiving are the reason you’ve been out-of-touch. Try to plan something fun—away from the duties of caregiving—once or twice a month. Discuss quick ways you can stay connected when caregiving duties are at their peak, such as text messaging, social media, and video chat.
  3. Join a support group: Connecting with fellow caregivers who understand the challenges you face can also decrease the loneliness you might be experiencing. There are probably support groups that meet in your local area at libraries, senior centers and assisted living communities. If it is more convenient to connect online, the Family Caregiver Alliance has a host of support groups you can explore.

One final suggestion is to try not to feel guilty if you take time out from caregiving to enjoy your life. It is a fairly common emotion for caregivers to struggle with. “Advice for Overcoming Caregiver Guilt and Finding Peace” has some solid tips for managing it.

Respite Care at Legacy Senior Living

If you would like to learn more about day-stay programs at communities in the southeast, we invite you to call the Legacy Senior Living community nearest you. With locations in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, and Virginia, there is likely a community near you.

6 Ways to Sit Less and Why It’s So Important

September 3, 2019

A sedentary lifestyle can be as dangerous as smoking, say the experts. Learn how you can stay active during retirement.

Sitting is the new smoking. Experts now say that spending too much of your day sitting can be deadly. In fact, early mortality is directly impacted by how much time you sit every day. It is linked to obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and depression.

Research shows middle-aged and older adults who sat for 30 minutes or less at a time had the lowest risk for early death. It’s important to note, however, that this doesn’t mean you have to spend the whole day exercising. You just need to avoid sitting for prolonged periods of time.

If you aren’t sure how to move more and sit less, these tips may be of interest.

6 Ways to Sit Less and Move More

1. Invest in a fitness tracker.

While using a fitness tracker to count your steps each day is helpful, some of these devices come with another beneficial feature—a movement sensor. If you’ve been sitting too long, it will alert you that it’s time to get up and get moving again.

2. Move when you are on the phone.

If you spend time on the phone catching up with adult children and friends every day, it might be tempting to sit down while you talk. A better option is to keep moving. Whether it is walking around your living space or courtyard or even marching in place, staying in motion is good for your health.

3. Set goals for daily steps.

When you are retired and have more free time, it may be easy to lose track of how much you are walking each day. While lunch with friends or participating in an art workshop are great ways to spend your time, they don’t require a lot of movement.

It might be helpful to talk with your physician for a recommendation on how much walking you should be doing each day. You can break this down to a daily goal for the number of steps walked. Don’t be discouraged if you have to start slow and work up. The overall objective is to simply keep moving.

4. Adopt a senior dog.

Having a four-legged friend to love and care for is good for the body, mind, and spirit. Our canine companions keep us active and encourage us to walk more. Adopting an older dog might be more manageable for an older adult than an overactive puppy. The two of you can explore a few pet-friendly trails to walk together every so often.

5. Rethink how you watch television.

Watching the news or a few favorite game shows can be a great way to unwind. The catch is not to get in a rut and spend too much time sitting on the sofa. A healthier option is to limit how much time you spend in front of the television. When you do watch TV, consider riding a recumbent bike or getting up to stretch and take a brisk walk every half hour.

6. Volunteer for a youth organization.

Children help us stay active and young at heart. If you don’t have grandchildren or if they don’t live nearby, consider volunteering for a local youth organization or helping out in the nursery at your church or synagogue. You’ll likely stay busy and enjoy a boost in spirit that naturally occurs when you spend time with children. Alternatively, the Life Enrichment Coordinator at your community is great at bringing in young volunteers and hosting fun activities that are worth being involved in.

Many Ways to Stay Active at Legacy

At Legacy Senior Living communities, you’ll find a wide variety of life enrichment activities to participate in every day right in the comfort of your community. Our “Live Well” program is designed to meet the unique interests and needs of every resident. Call the Legacy Senior Living community nearest you to learn more!

Understand and Manage Agitation in a Senior with Alzheimer’s

August 26, 2019

It is common among seniors with Alzheimer’s disease. Use these suggestions to help manage agitation.

One of the most common challenges family caregivers face when a loved one has Alzheimer’s disease is managing agitation. The behavior can negatively impact their quality of life as well as that of the family. It is often cited as a reason why families begin to explore memory care communities for their loved one.

In order to prevent agitation, or take steps to minimize it, Dementia care experts say caregivers must first understand the possible causes.

Potential Triggers of Agitation in a Senior with Alzheimer’s

  1. Disease-related changes in the brain

Alzheimer’s disease and similar forms of dementia can cause damage to the frontal lobe of the brain. This is the area that controls functions such as motivation, planning, self-control, and sequencing. When this area of the brain is damaged, it can be difficult for people to manage their reactions and understand consequences. The senior probably doesn’t realize their behavior is aggressive and intimidating.

  1. Undiagnosed pain or discomfort

A person with Alzheimer’s disease often loses their verbal communication skills. This makes it difficult for them to express their feelings or explain that they are in pain. As a result, when the older adult feels pain, fatigue, hunger, or sorrow, they may act out in frustration.

When your family member seems agitated or aggressive, try to identify the root cause. Ask if they are hungry, tired, or thirsty. Show them to the bathroom and see if they need to use it. It may also help to point to different areas of the body and ask them if it hurts.

  1. Overstimulation

Another outcome of the physical damage caused to the brain is difficulty processing too many things at one time. As a result, persons with Alzheimer’s can be easily overwhelmed. Noisy, hectic environments may be especially difficult to handle.

Because the adult may have difficulty managing multiple demands, they might become anxious, agitated, or aggressive. By controlling the environment, a caregiver may be able to help their loved one avoid becoming overstimulated.

  1. Confusion

Sometimes a person with Alzheimer’s disease will become anxious or agitated when they don’t understand what is happening around them. They may not understand why they need to get in the car or who the person in their home is. Irritability or agitation may be the result.

Family members may be successful in reducing some of this confusion by explaining who people are, even if they are someone the senior has known for years, or why they are being asked to do something.

Understanding Sundowners Syndrome

Another cause of agitation is actually a combination of symptoms that appear as the sun begins to make its descent. Sundowners Syndrome, also known as Sundowning, causes anxiety, agitation, and aggression.

Although caregivers may not be able to prevent Sundowning entirely, here are suggestions on how to better manage it:

  • Having a structured daily routine
  • Limiting caffeine intake
  • Reducing stimulation in the home, especially late in the day
  • Pulling the blinds and turning on the lights as the sun starts to set
  • Playing soothing music during the hours sundowning typically occurs

Compassionate Memory Care

If you are struggling to care for a loved one with Alzheimer’s at home, we can help. Our nationally recognized memory care program in some of our communities, known as The Harbor, is thoughtfully designed to meet the unique needs of people with Alzheimer’s disease. Contact Legacy Senior Living online to learn more!