Understanding the Unique Needs of Seniors with Alzheimer

Addressing the Distinctive Needs of an Older Adult Who Has Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer's is a form of dementia that can impact behaviour, memory, and thinking abilities. As the disease progresses, it becomes more difficult for aging adults to take on daily activities, which could lead to physical, emotional, and mental setbacks. As the condition progresses, your senior loved one will become more dependent on you and other family members. Therefore, you need to understand your loved one’s needs and develop strategies to make life less stressful.

Memory Loss

Alzheimer's is a brain disorder that impacts thinking and memory skills over time. As a result, performing daily activities associated with memory, such as engaging in conversations and following instructions, will be a unique challenge. When you’re talking to your loved one, speak clearly and slowly, and always use a respectful tone. Avoid getting agitated when you’re with your loved one. If you need to pause or restart your conversation, do so with a positive tone. Try to keep discussions and directions as simple as possible, and limit the number of people in the home when your loved one is engaged in activities. Caring for a senior with Alzheimer’s can be challenging for family caregivers. Luckily, there is an Edmonton respite care families can rely on. Our caregivers help seniors with Alzheimer’s stay safe and comfortable by preventing wandering, providing cognitive stimulation, and assisting with the activities of daily living.

Vision Difficulties

Due to the brain changes seniors with Alzheimer's typically experience, your loved one may have difficulty processing the information relayed to his or her eyes correctly. In some cases, you and other family members may notice your loved one has difficulty seeing things with his or her left or right eye. As a result, your parent could trip over items on the floor or avoid eating from certain sides of the plate during mealtimes. It’s best to remain calm and develop safe ways to guide your loved one as he or she walks around the home, goes out in public, and eats meals.


As Alzheimer's progresses, your loved one may lash out, both verbally and physically. For instance, your loved one may yell at you when he or she misplaces an item or has a sudden episode of memory loss and cannot remember who you are and how you’re related to him or her. Therefore, out of irritation or fear, your parent may scream hurtful words at you or throw dangerous items in an attempt to express his or feelings or protect him or herself. When this happens, you should take a moment to relax in another room. Keep in mind your loved one is going through a challenging stage of life, and remember that before developing the disease, he or she wouldn't have displayed any of these negative behaviours. Trained professional caregivers can be a fantastic resource when it comes to helping older adults handle agitation, confusion, frustration, and other symptoms of Alzheimer’s. There are many reasons seniors might need to receive assistance at respite care homes. Some may require regular mental stimulation due to an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, while others might only need assistance with meals and basic personal hygiene tasks. Butterfly Dreams Respite Care is a leading elderly respite care Edmonton, AB, families trust to help their senior loved ones maintain a high quality of life.

Poor Self-Esteem

Relying on you, your siblings, and other family caregivers or friends may be difficult for your parent, so you need to understand these challenges and handle them accordingly. For example, encourage your loved one to perform personal tasks, such as bathing, dressing, and brushing his or her teeth, independently whenever possible. You can adapt some of these tasks to make them less stressful and boost your loved one’s self-esteem. One strategy is to purchase shoes with Velcro closures as well as pants and shirts that don’t have buttons or zippers so they’re easier for your loved one to put on. Doing so could boost your loved one’s confidence without putting him or her in harm's way. Family caregivers need to care for their own wellbeing. If you’re caring for an aging loved one with Alzheimer’s and are feeling overwhelmed, reach out to the professionals at Butterfly Dreams Respite Care, a premier provider of Edmonton respite care. Our compassionate, highly qualified caregivers can assist your loved one while you take a nap, go to work, run errands, or go on vacation. Contact one of our experienced Clinical Managers today at 587-800-4822 to learn more about our reliable respite care services.