AlzU Blog

Independence is Important for Seniors in the Early Stages of Alzheimer's Disease

Aging is big news these days as the huge number of baby boomers enter their senior years.  But if you take a close look at the news surrounding older adults, many times it’s negative.  Topics such as; illness, immobility, and statistics of senior drivers causing accidents are common.

Even in the midst of issues that seniors face such as chronic debilitating diseases (like Alzheimer’s disease), many older adults are working hard to lead healthy active lives.  In the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, there is no reason a person would NOT be expected to maintain a high level of independence and expect a degree of respect from the younger generation.

It’s important for caregivers and family members to keep in mind that all human beings value their independence.  With this in mind, remember that allowing your loved one to be able to do for himself/herself anything and everything he/she is capable of is one of the best ways you can you’re your respect.  Be open and allow him/her to partake in the decision making process on topics such as; when to seek out professional help or a structured living facility.  Allowing your loved one to voice his/her opinion on the daily routine, who will perform what care, and other matters related to
Alzheimer’s care is vital to his/her sense of independence.

If your loved one has some cognitive impairment, consider how much he/she can still do with or without assistance.  Perhaps your mom can still select and prepare meals with help, but needs some help with the shopping.  Be sure to carefully consider just how much you are helping and how much doing things for him/her could actually be impeding his/her right to independence and self-respect. 

Of course most family members who over-do it when it comes to the helping area are acting out of love and concern, but knowing where to draw the line when it comes to taking charge of matters he/she can still manage, will go a long way in promoting the overall emotional well-being of your loved one with AD. 

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