When entering the world of caregiving, people usually struggle at first to cope with the changes, maneuvering their new role, understanding the needs of the senior they are caring for and settling into a routine. Everything about caregiving may be overwhelming at first, no matter if you are caring for a parent, grandparent, spouse or someone you don’t know well. There will always be an adjustment period where caregivers need to relearn their role and discover effective techniques for providing senior care for their loved one. Fortunately, this is not something you have to do all on your own.
According to Alison Wall, Senior Living Consultant at TreVista Antioch, an assisted living and memory care community in Antioch, CA, caregiving can become much less overwhelming and stressful when you do your homework. “Researching the disease and care needs a senior has before taking over as their caregiver is crucial to providing them with the best care possible,” says Alison. “By being knowledgeable and educating yourself, you can be more prepared for what lies ahead. The more in-the-know caregivers feel they are, the more confident they will be that they can provide the care their loved one deserves, and what’s more, they will be able to plan for any future care needs, challenging behaviors and stressful situations, allowing them to feel more in control.”
One of the things that confuses new caregivers is the range of terminology they will be faced with. Not understanding what certain terms mean can cause caregivers frustration and the feeling of unpreparedness. To make this journey easier on you, we’ve compiled a list of commonly used terms in senior care and caregiving. While these are not all of the terms you will come to be familiar with, they can provide you with a good start on your senior care journey.
Senior Care Glossary for Caregivers
Activities of Daily Living. Caregivers often need to help senior loved ones with activities of daily living. These include bathing, dressing, grooming and eating.
Alzheimer’s Disease. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia and causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior, according to the Alzheimer’s Association®. This disease can develop slowly and worsen as time passes, which affects the ability for seniors to continue the activities of daily living, problem-solve and remember people, places and events.
Caregiver. Those who provide care for a senior loved one. This could be a family member, friend or professional.
Caregiver Support Groups. A place where caregivers can go to find support, guidance and helpful tips on how to better care for their loved one. Some support groups provide care for a loved one while you attend.
Dementia. Dementia is a decline in mental ability, memory, critical thinking and judgment and interferes with a senior’s ability to do everyday things. This is an umbrella term that describes an array of different forms of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies, frontotemporal dementia, Parkinson’s disease and more.
Downsizing. Sometimes it’s easier for seniors to downsize to simplify their lives. This includes getting rid of items, whether by throwing them away, storing, donating, passing them down or keeping the most important belongings. This most often occurs when a senior moves to a smaller home or a senior living community.
Elder Law Attorney. Focusing on the needs of seniors, elder law attorneys help seniors and their caregivers plan for the future. From financial planning to living wills, they will help ensure seniors’ wishes are met.
Holistic Therapy. These are therapies focusing on engaging and helping seniors without the use of medication. Whether using art, music, animals, reminiscence or aromatherapy, many seniors can benefit.
Memory Loss. Sometimes, seniors begin to forget things more than usual, like people, events and places. While this can be normal for aging seniors, sometimes it’s not and can indicate memory loss, so it’s important to talk to their doctor.
Respite Care. When caregivers need a break to tend to their day-to-day lives or go on a much-needed vacation, respite care can help. Respite care is where seniors can stay at an independent, assisted living or memory care community and use all of their services in a safe, engaging environment.
Senior Living Community. This is a place seniors go to live an engaging, connected lifestyle while receiving care and support from professionals in the healthcare industry. This can include independent or assisted living as well as memory care.
Sundowning. When seniors are facing memory loss, they may become more agitated as evening nears. This is called sundowning, and can be helped by keeping a daily routine, avoiding long naps, providing a calm environment in the evening and limiting things that tend to affect sleep.
Wandering. Caregivers who are caring for a loved one with dementia may notice their loved one becoming more confused or disoriented. This can cause seniors to begin to wander, or try to find a place or time where they remember feeling more comfortable. Be sure to keep an eye on your loved one and to avoid places or situations that cause your loved one to become overstimulated.
To learn more about terms caregivers can expect to hear as they care for a senior loved one, contact the team at TreVista Antioch. They can help provide you with the support and education you need to feel prepared to take on this role. Contact us today at 925•329•6292 for more information.
Making the everyday extraordinary.
Family-owned and operated, Agemark Senior Living is the new owner of TreVista Antioch. Known for creating warm, welcoming communities, vibrant lifestyles and engaging programming, Agemark has been one of the most premier and trusted senior living providers since 1987. As Agemark’s newest community, TreVista Antioch is located on 10 acres in a prime location close to shopping and local attractions, as well as the great outdoors. Our beautiful community features a personalized, resident-centric approach to care that provides support, all while helping residents live full, connected lives.
At TreVista Antioch, we provide assisted living and memory care set in a beautiful environment that not only meets our residents’ needs but makes them, as well as their families, feel more at home. Although our gorgeous community is a plus, we truly believe it’s our programming and caring, dedicated staff that makes TreVista home. With our family-oriented inspiration and resident-centric approach, our residents flourish and experience days full of joy and meaning. Our staff learns each resident’s likes and dislikes and their values and pasts, right down to the dreams they never thought they could accomplish, in order to customize their care and make their dreams a reality.
LifeCycles wellness programming encourages our residents to connect, engage and enjoy life, every day. Our LifeCycles programming is designed to focus on the four dimensions of wellness: physical, social, spiritual and intellectual. This is achieved through a wide range of daily activities and routines, from outings and excursions to local events and programming at the community. At TreVista Antioch, our residents have the tools and care they need to make each day fulfilling, engaging and vibrant. Contact us to learn more!
Call us at 925•237•1952 for more information or to schedule a personal visit today.
TreVista Antioch is part of the Agemark family of senior living communities.