One of the more stressful tasks family caregivers face is a trip to the doctor. When a parent has Alzheimer’s disease, a simple trip often becomes a challenge.
Among the challenges you face are getting your parent out of the home on time. Getting your parent out of the car and into the medical office is the next challenge. After that, you must get your parent to cooperate with the doctor, allow the doctor to perform tests. You also have to relay messages as a doctor may not use simple enough terms for your mom or dad to understand.
It’s going to make you feel stressed. That’s okay. These tips can help you avoid some of the stress and better manage the stress you do experience.
Get Ready to Stretch the Truth
If your parent is one to delay your departure. Start lying about it being time to go about half an hour early. It gets you out of the door on time.
If your parent is pushing it and you’re going to be late, lie about where you’re going. Instead of saying you have to go to the doctor’s office, ask your mom or dad if they want to go out to eat. Pick a restaurant or food you know they love.
Prepare Yourself for the Challenges During the Appointment
If you go into a doctor’s visit prepared, it can help ease the stress. Before the appointment, ask to have the doctor or his/her nurse call you. Go over the tests or vaccinations that are due. If you’re aware of them in advance, you’ll be able to prepare your mom or dad.
For example, if you know your mom is due her tetanus booster, you’ll be able to prepare her as best you can. Have her wear a t-shirt with a cardigan she can quickly take off. Don’t worry about telling her in advance. She won’t likely remember what you’ve said. Do have a distraction in hand for when it’s happening.
Alert the Medical Staff
Your mom or dad’s doctor knows that Alzheimer’s is present, but that doesn’t mean the nurses and registration desk know it. Be prepared to tell them over and over. If your parent gets testy when you say it out loud, keep business cards that you can pass out.
On that business card, have it printed that you are your parent’s carer and that he/she has dementia. It can also include simple instructions about keeping sentences short, needing to speak clearly, and being ready to repeat things often.
How often do you take a break? Make sure you get time away to care for yourself. Professional caregivers are one of the easiest ways to ensure you have time alone. Call a home care agency and ask about the cost of having part-time caregivers for respite care.
If you or an aging loved one is considering caregivers in St. Louis Park, MN, and the surrounding areas, please contact the friendly staff at CareBuilders at Home Minnesota. Call today 612-260-2273.