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August 15, 2018

Tips for Tackling the Difficulties of Caring for a Parent With Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s affects a startling number of families. It’s very likely you know someone with the disease or who is caring for someone with it. You might be caring for an elderly parent or grandparent. When you’re the person providing elderly care, you understand there are challenges no one could prepare you for.

Here are a few that family caregivers have shared with others.

You Never Know Where a Purse or Wallet Will End Up

One woman reports that while she was in the kitchen making breakfast, her mom was showering and getting dressed. They had a dentist’s appointment later that morning. Sue’s mom always needed an hour to actually leave the house after being told it was time to go. As a result, Sue always started making moves to leave an hour in advance.

Sue went to find her mom’s purse and it was missing. For 30 minutes, she went through drawers, closets, cupboards, and under the bed for the purse. She finally found it in the dog food container. Another time, Sue found her mom’s wallet under the pile of clean towels in the linen closet.

It’s Like Caring for a Toddler

Stan never had kids. As a result, he couldn’t understand how his sister had endless patience with their dad. When their dad refused to eat anything other than applesauce, Stan got frustrated. His sister let it go.

One afternoon, he took her aside to ask for tips on handling it. She simply told him that while their dad was progressing, he was seemingly aging in reverse. While he used to be an adult, he now acted like her kids had when they were three. She couldn’t fault him for something he couldn’t stop.

She told Stan the easiest way was to let the less important things like diet slide. Her energy was better spent pushing their dad on important aspects like safety.

Food Likes and Dislikes Change Daily

Pat provided care by taking her mom shopping and cooking all the meals. While out shopping, she’d ask her mom what she wanted for meals. Days later, Pat would make meals only to have her mom says she’s never liked a specific food item.

A shepherd’s pie didn’t ever get eaten due to her mom’s sudden hatred of beef. She made spaghetti only to have her mom say she’s never liked tomatoes. The only things Pat could get her mom to eat regularly were BLTs and chicken nuggets with ranch dressing.

These are just a few of the many struggles family caregivers face. Some may seem amusing, but after days and weeks of providing Alzheimer’s care, they’re tiring. Make sure you have elderly care services lined up to ensure you can take breaks. Call our elderly care agency to learn more about respite care.

If you or an aging loved one are considering Elderly Care Services in Grayslake IL, please contact the caring staff at Big Hearts Home Care today! 

Matthew Calcagno

Matthew is a graduate of Robert Morris College and is a U.S. Navy veteran.Matthew founded Big Hearts Home Care after over a decade at HP. Spending time volunteering at his grandparent’s senior center inspired him to make a bigger difference in the quality of care seniors receive.His grandfather whom turned 100 in 2015 is still a major inspiration to him in seeing that service is provided with a family focused touch.

It is his passion and commitment to providing quality service that has awarded Big Hearts Home Care as Provider of Choice and Employer of Choice in the Chicagoland area. He believes that being an independently owned and operated company allows him the flexibility to manage the business in a way that better serves the clients.


"Helping people is what I was meant to do; it inspires and motivates me," Calcagno said. "I also get to help veterans - assisting them in the VA pension process and providing care for several in the area. This is what I love to do."

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