Karleigh Asks The Experts
Hello. Both grandparents are not great. Grandfather has dementia/Alzheimer’s. Grandma has heart issues. How would my grandpa with Alzheimer’s use his phone to notify my father that something happened to grandma. No one lives in with the grandparents at the moment.
Thank you for your amazing resources btw!
Karleigh asks - "How would my grandpa with Alzheimer’s use his phone to notify my father that something happened to grandma. No one lives in with the grandparents at the moment."
Karleigh, Thanks for a great question. If your grandfather is your grandmother's primary caregiver, he is going to mentally decline.
It sounds like your grandfather is in the very early stages of dementia. He may still be able to use a phone. The problem that most families do not understand is that the person with dementia is starting to have difficulty processing a situation and retrieving information to develop a response or a plan of action.
Your father has two patients. Caring for someone with Alzheimer's Disease can be incredibly challenging. It's important to understand the different stages of Alzheimer's and how they can impact a person with AD.
Your dad is walking a fine line between making your grandfather feel useful and productive, as he provides care to his wife. The actual act of providing care for his wife can slow the progression of the disease. He's challenging himself to get out of bed, to take care of her.
As Alzheimer's disease progresses, it will become increasingly difficult to manage daily activities. The common signs of Alzheimer's are memory loss, and difficulty in completing everyday tasks that require problem solving or planning. As Alzheimer’s progresses through its various stages, these symptoms usually become more pronounced. With Alzheimer’s, memory loss will worsen over time; however, other aspects of cognition such as language and judgment may also decline significantly.
It is important to remember that each person with Alzheimer’s will experience the stages differently; however, being informed on the various stages can help both person with AD and the caregiver to better understand Alzheimer’s disease.
Putting systems in place and getting organized can be helpful in providing the best possible care for someone with Alzheimer’s. This can include setting up regular appointments, planning out meals and activities, creating a list of emergency contacts. All these measures are vital in providing quality care to those living with Alzheimer’s Disease.
Your concern is being proactive. It is important to put a system in place to monitor your grandfather's mental status. Individuals with dementia lose the ability to problem solve and create a plan of action.
My suggestion is to make sure you are organized and prepared for an unexpected trip to the emergency room. In this case, you need to be prepared for a decline in your grandfather's mental decline.
Getting organized with legal and medical information in one place. Create and maintain an updated medications list for both grandparents.
If your grandfather is making sure your grandmother is taking her medications, you need to put a medication system in place. Your grandfather may not be able to do that over the long run.
I am going to suggest that you look into several tools that can help you monitor your grandfather, I suggest you look into a medical alert system. This will help you and your grandfather, because if he falls, or your grandmother falls, there will be support. The company will be alerted and start calling first responder etc, if there is a medical crisis.
I know this is an intrusive suggestion. You may want to put video cameras in a few strategic spots in the home. This will allow you to monitor both grandparents' activity and physical status. If one stays on bed too long, or has a change in physical abilities, you will be able to see what is occuring.
This was a great question. There are so many things you must consider when dealing with a spouse with dementia providing care. Putting systems in place will help promote safety in the home. I hope this was helpful
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