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Providing Alzheimer’s Care When the Power is Out

Caring for a parent with Alzheimer’s is hard enough. If the power goes out, it’s extra stressful. As daylight fades, candles create shadows that can frighten someone with Alzheimer’s. Here are tips on how to keep your parent from becoming agitated and scared.

 

Senior Care in Hawthorne NJ: Providing Alzheimer's Care

Senior Care in Hawthorne NJ: Providing Alzheimer’s Care

 

Purchase Battery-Powered Lanterns

Candles flicker and may create what looks like moving shadows. Try to avoid them. Purchase battery-powered lanterns. The brighter they are, the better. Keep batteries on hand.

If you don’t want to buy batteries, you can look for lanterns that are rechargeable. There are camping lanterns that charge using a micro USB port. It takes about six hours to reach a full charge, so you should test them every couple of weeks and make sure there’s still a strong charge.

 

Buy a Portable Radio

Look into an easy-to-use radio that is rechargeable or runs on batteries. You can use the radio to get news alerts into the power outage. Music is also calming to a person with Alzheimer’s, so it can keep your mom or dad from becoming stressed and agitated.

 

Have Books on Hand

Reading is often a struggle as Alzheimer’s progresses. You can read the books to your parent or buy picture books that they can flip through. Travel guides with lots of photos and informational books on types of birds, cats, dogs, and other animals also appeal to people with Alzheimer’s.

If you don’t have any books, pull out photo albums if possible. You can go through old photos to pass the time. It might get your mom or dad talking about their childhood, too.

 

Keep Emergency Supplies on Hand

If your parent is on a well, you need water for flushing toilets. You’ll want water available for drinks and cooking. Non-perishable foods are essential if the power is out for an extended period of time. Canned soups, low-sodium meats, and vegetables can get you through a long power outage.

Are your parent’s stove and oven powered by electricity or gas? If it’s gas, you’ll still be able to use the burners. If it’s electric, you may need to use an outdoor grill for cooking meals. If the grill has a side burner, you’ll find it handy for boiling water and some aspects of meal preparation.

There’s one more thing you should think of when providing senior care to a parent with Alzheimer’s. Whether the power is out or not, you need to think of yourself. Have you taken breaks? Are you providing self-care? Caregivers can help you get time to yourself. Talk to a senior care agency and learn more about caregivers and respite care.

 

If you or a senior family member are considering hiring Senior Care in Hawthorne, NJ, please contact the caring staff at Caring Solutions Home Care LLC.  In-home senior care servicing Bergen & Passaic Counties. Call today at (973) 427-3553.

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Pamela DelColle, RN, CCRN

Pamela DelColle, RN, CCRN

Founder/Director of Nursing at Caring Solutions Home Care LLC
Dementia Care Provider-Member of The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America.

I started my career as an ICU nurse over 30 years ago. I have functioned as an educator and preceptor mentoring new nurses in the clinical arena. I have sat on many Patient Care committees authoring a variety of patient care protocols.

In 2007, I saw an opportunity to improve the delivery of patient care services in the home and founded Caring Solutions Home Care. Over the last 10 years I have functioned as the Director of Nursing overseeing all client care, administrative and personnel operations.
Pamela DelColle, RN, CCRN