In the later stages of Alzheimer’s disease your senior may feel farther away from you than ever. There are some ways for you to tend to her physical comfort, though, even if she’s not able to tell you what she needs or wants. Hospice care providers would be able to step in with some of these suggestions.
Here are some ways you and hospice care aides can offer comfort.
Shifting Positions More Regularly Solves Several Problems
Staying in the same position can be uncomfortable and can even become a bigger health issue. As your elderly family member is lying in one position, pressure is increasing on bony joints and areas of thin skin. Pressure sores are much more likely, and those can eventually become infected if they’re not spotted quickly. An easy answer for all of these issues is to help your elderly family member to move positions every couple of hours.
Use Cushions and Pillows to Support Her
Cushions, pillows, blankets, and more can all help your elderly family member to experience less pressure on her body as she lies in bed. They can also help her to stay in a new position until she’s ready to move into another one. These tools are also a great way to prop up your senior’s limbs, particularly her lower arms or lower legs if she’s experiencing any swelling.
Change Bed Linens More Frequently
When your elderly family member is spending most or all of her time in bed, it makes sense that she’s going to need to have her bed linens changed a little more often. That “clean sheets” feeling is one that everyone loves, whether they can express that want or not. When you’re bumping up the frequency on sheet changing, you’re also helping your aging family member’s skin to experience less breakdown, which is also important in keeping pressure sores at bay.
Offer Liquids Often and Use Lip Balms to Keep Lips Moist
Hydration is always important and it’s a big part of keeping your elderly family member comfortable in the later stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Offer liquids of all sorts often. Water is always an excellent choice, but warm broth or tea can also be a great idea. Another important idea is to keep your senior’s lips moist and protected, so they don’t chap. Regular applications of lip balm can help.
Lean on experienced hospice care providers to help you to learn what your senior needs and how to best meet those needs. Your senior’s hospice care team can also help you to communicate with your elderly family member’s doctors and get the best care plan possible in motion for her.