If your senior parent has Alzheimer’s, you already are dealing with a lot of challenges just getting through each day. But when your senior parent with Alzheimer’s has a medical emergency like a stroke or a heart attack, or if they fall and need to go to the emergency room, it can be very traumatizing for them and very difficult for you. Caregivers should know how they can help keep a senior parent with Alzheimer’s calm and cooperative in an unfamiliar or upsetting situation like an emergency room so that doctors are able to give them the care they need.
Alzheimer’s care, which is specialty care for seniors with Alzheimer’s or dementia, can be a big help in emergency situations. If your senior parent has Alzheimer’s care and the care provider goes to the hospital with them your senior loved one will have an experienced and trained care provider with them to offer comfort and keep them from being scared. If you need to be the one comforting your senior parent and keeping them calm use these tips:
Bring a Comfort Object
Make sure that your senior loved one has their favorite comfort object in the hospital so that they have something to hold and stroke. If your senior parent has a robotic cat or dog, a doll, a blanket, or some other item that they find comforting and cling too all the time at home bring that item to the hospital and tell the staff it needs to stay with them at all times. Having that item can provide immediate comfort and make your senior parent feel more relaxed and less scared.
Try To Stick To Their Schedule
Seniors that have Alzheimer’s really need a routine. That routine is what provides stability and reassurance for them. Obviously, when they are in the emergency department or in the hospital it’s difficult to keep them on a set schedule but try to at least give them a snack and a drink at the time when they usually eat meals and encourage them to take a nap at the same time they nap at home.
Have a Hospital Go Bag Ready
You should pack a go bag for the hospital and either send it on the ambulance with your senior parent or bring it yourself. The bag should have essentials like lip balm, lotion, slippers, a set of clothes and shoes for when they are released, their favorite sweater or sweatshirt, socks, and other items that your senior loved one will need. Bringing their favorite clothes, pajamas, robe, and even a blanket from their bed will reassure them.
Change the Position of the Bed
Because seniors with Alzheimer’s are so comforted by routine and they rely on touchstones like the couch, being by the window or the bed being against the left wall of the bedroom those things matter to them. If possible try to position the bed in the hospital room in the same position as their bed back home.
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