Important & Helpful Tips for Alzheimer’s In Home Care- Part 3!

In Parts one and two of this three parts series I laid out facts and statistics regarding Alzheimer’s, how pervasive it has become and also provided a list of tips and tactics that if put into action have been proven to be helpful for both family caregivers and professional caregivers. We covered a total of fourteen different tips and tactics between parts one and two. If anyone missed them, feel free to read them here (https://seniorcarecompanions.com/blog/). In this final part I am going to address an important topic that I’m afraid is not addressed enough. Tips and Tactics for Alzheimer’s and Driving is the perfect area to finish our list.

Alzheimer’s and Driving:

I’ve heard it from my own grandmother and countless other seniors, “I lost my freedom when I gave up my car”. We have to remember that driving for seniors represents freedom and independence especially on Long Island, but more importantly we must remember that a senior’s ability to drive safely can be compromised by changes in their physical, emotional, mental and cognitive conditions. Driving is a complex skill that needs to be taken very seriously. Seniors can keep their independence even when they have to stop driving, it may take some planning ahead with family, friends and professional Caregivers focused on In-Home care as well as alzheimer’s home care long island. Outside of friends, family and professional caregivers; consider taxi cab services like Uber and Lyft as well as shuttle buses or vans. Here at SeniorCare Companions we have a large staff so we have many wonderful care givers that are able to drive and we also have a business account with Uber enabling us to help restore the freedom and independence a senior losses when they give up their car. Many times seniors don’t want to be a “pain” or a “bother” even though their kids may not see it that way which is why it’s so valuable to have a plan in place prior to the senior giving up their car.

Now that we addressed the importance of addressing driving for people with Alzheimer’s, I would like to help establish some early and clear warning signs that Alzheimer’s is affecting someone with Alzheimer’s. Below are some warning signs to look for:

  • The person needs more help than they used to with directions or with learning a new driving route.
  • The person is having trouble remembering where they’re going or where they left their car.
  • The person feels confused when exiting a highway or by traffic signs such as a four-way stop.
  • They are receiving multiple citations for moving violations.
  • More people than usual are often honking their horns at them.
  • They stop at a green light, go on a red light or brake inappropriately.
  • The person is getting lost on routes that they were once familiar with.
  • People with Alzheimer’s have less control over their muscles making it harder to push down on the pedals or turn the steering wheel causing them to drift out of their lane.
  • The person is having trouble making turns, especially left turns.
  • Dents and scrapes are appearing on their car that they can’t explain.
  • Other people are questioning their driving safety and sometimes the person has a hard time controlling their anger, sadness, or other emotions that can affect their driving.

What to do when the warning signs are evident:


Driving generally isn’t safe for those in all but the earliest stages of dementia. Here’s how you can handle the transition:

Be Firm: Don’t allow your loved one to drive on “good days” but forbid it on “bad days.” Offer sympathy when he or she expresses unhappiness with the situation, but don’t give in.


Get a Doctor’s Help: The person may view the doctor as an “authority” and be willing to stop driving. The doctor also can contact the Department of Motor Vehicles and request that the person be reevaluated.

Employ a Care Giver: The same way you can substitute “Personal Assistant” for Care Giver, you can present the Care Giver as a “Chauffeur” of sorts to drive them around. Perception is key!


Take the Car Keys: If just having keys is important to the person, substitute a different set of keys.


Move the Car: If all else fails, disable the car or move it to a location where the person cannot see it or gain access to it.

Visiting the Doctor:

Here are some tips for dealing with medical appointments:

Bring a Caregiver: Having a reliable and compassionate person take the trip will not only help to ease the person, but will also enable one of you to speak with the doctor while the other speaks to the person.

Schedule Wisely: Try to schedule the appointment for the person’s best time of day. Also, ask the office staff what time of day the office is least crowded.


Give Short Notice: Don’t tell the person about the appointment until the day of the visit or even shortly before it is time to go. Be positive and firm.


Bring Snacks and Activities: Bringing snacks and drinks as well as different things to do is a great way to keep the person agreeable.

Seniors need attention and love during the holidays, just like everyone else. Unfortunately, some people forget to visit their loved ones during the busiest times of the year. 

Finding ways to take care of seniors during the holidays is extremely important. Doing so involves helping them with their physical, mental, and emotional needs. Let’s look into the ways you can take care of seniors during the holiday season.

Hire a Service

Some seniors might not be able to help themselves with different tasks such as:

  • Mobility to go places
  • Remembering important details and schedules
  • Assistance with motor skills

Whatever you may need, we here at Senior Care Companions can help. We offer various services to help seniors each day. You can find assistants to help them 24/7, or just a few hours of the day.

 

While you should help seniors when you can, you may need professional help. After all, you can’t be at their sides 24/7, so see if you can find a reliable service to look after them.

Plan Fun Activities

Seniors can face boredom during the holidays, especially if they don’t have people to spend time with them. Coming up with fun activities you can do with one another is important to their mental and emotional wellbeing. Potential activities include:

  • Sit down and play board games together
  • Enjoy holiday activities like eating or watching movies
  • Go for a walk through the park

Focus your attention on letting them have fun. Doing so can help you take care of them emotionally and mentally. For example, they could feel happy after the activities or thankful you thought of them.

Seniors can potentially become lonely and depressed during the holidays, so take the time to plan fun activities for them. Doing so can help them overcome the mundane and boring moments in their lives.

Prepare Them Ahead of Time

Some seniors may like to stick with their schedules. If you know seniors like this, you should prepare them before any activities. Some seniors may have health problems, so make sure you accommodate them. 

You can do this in multiple ways such as:

  • Ensure they have a way to safely reach the areas if they have to use wheelchairs
  • Give them specific food if they have dietary restrictions
  • Show them pictures of who they’ll see at the event if they suffer from memory loss

You don’t want to worry them, so make sure you take some time to talk and prepare. This can help them understand the plan and feel comfortable during the activity.

Visit Them Regularly

Often people forget to help seniors with their mental and emotional health during the holidays. If you want to help them during the holidays, just visiting them is an easy way to make their day.

Visiting seniors can help them out in many ways:

  • Allows them to talk with someone
  • Shows them others care about their well-being
  • Help them with tasks or anything else they need

When you visit a senior, you can help them feel happy. You can also help them avoid feelings of loneliness or boredom if they have to live away from home. Even if you have seniors in your life who live on their own, you should visit them during the holidays.

Seniors recognize the time you take to visit them, so they’ll appreciate your efforts.

Ask Them What They Want

Sometimes, people try to make decisions for seniors, so you should communicate when possible. If you communicate with them, you can avoid some problems.

  • Ensure they do something they like and avoid boredom
  • Meet their personal needs and keep them safe
  • Learn more about them and their interests

These points can help you find an activity that will make the seniors happy. You don’t want to drag them to an activity they don’t like, so you need to communicate with them. That way, you can find something you’ll both enjoy. 

 

Some people forget to remember each senior as a person. Make sure you show these seniors you care by asking them what they want. As you do so, you can form stronger relationships with them. 

Final Comments

The holidays give you a great opportunity to show your love to the seniors in your life. Whether you want to help relatives in your family or the local seniors, you can make the holidays better for them.

If you want to help these seniors out, try out the ideas above. If you need assistance in taking care of the seniors in your life, reach out to Senior Care Companions.

Have any Questions? Just give us a call, we would love to help in any way.

“Quality Care You Can Trust – Since 2004”

Scroll to Top