If your older relative has a long-term care policy, photocopy the page listing the company, policy number and claims contact information. Keep the insurance company updated on new addresses, yours (if you are the third-party designee) and your relative’s. It wouldn’t hurt, if the policyholder is becoming forgetful, to check bank statements or call the company to make sure premiums are current. One story reported by the NY Times shows the calamity that befell a Virginia family because paying the premiums slipped dad’s mind. State legislatures seem hesitant to correct the problem by mandating insurance companies give more formal notice to policy holders or their third-party designees.
Following are five suggestions that may help elderly family members better enjoy the holiday festivities when all the younger family members are stirring up a ruckus celebration:
1. Prevent your elderly family members suffering from dementia from too much excitement or things like camera flashes, multiple blinking lights, over-exhuberant youngsters asking too many questions and generally just too many simultaneous visitors. Their own inability to process information at the same pace can lead to frustration and disruptive behavior on their part in response.
2. Try to help the elderly stay in a good frame of mind by playing softer music and familiar songs to soothe their mood(s). Perhaps predictably, those suffering from various forms of cognitive impairment, such as Alzheimer’s or other dementia, have shown positive reactions to hearing their favorite kind of music.
3. Protect your aging parent with dementia from loud noises, even loud talking and laughter that seem part of a normal day of celebration. A person with dementia can become upset by loud noises, even if they are happy sounds.
4. Like most of us, but especially those elderly suffering from cognitive impairment, need quiet time, for rest, reflection and repose. Too much conversation and holiday excitement among family members can agitate the elder. Subtle signs of fatigue or frustration are indicators that a break from the action is appropriate for them.
5. Stay on their current schedule. Keep the elderly family member(s) eating at that same times that they always do. Otherwise, disrupting their routine could create unnecessary stress or confusion.
Our thanks to Dr. Mikol Davis at http://agingparents.com for this information.
- Prepare for Dementia Epidemic, Canada Warned (theepochtimes.com)
- 44 Million Now Suffer from Dementia Worldwide: Report (medindia.net)
- Dementia doesn’t just affect elderly. (blogs.abc.net.au)
- 5 Steps To Becoming An Advocate For Those Who Have Alzheimer’s (alzheimersspeaks.wordpress.com)
- Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease: Six Key Tactics of Prevention (guardianlv.com)