Tips for Helping a Senior with Alzheimer’s Disease Keep Up with Their Dental Hygiene Needs

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Caring for an elderly adult who is living with Alzheimer’s disease is challenging. You must ensure that their needs are properly met while also encouraging them to live the highest quality of life possible. Supporting their independence and encouraging them to do as much for themselves as possible is a valuable step in keeping their mind active and engaged supporting good mental and emotional health, and maintain as much function as they can throughout their progression.

October is National Dental Hygiene Month. This is the ideal time for you to review your parent’s dental hygiene routine and make sure that they are taking care of their mouth as well as they should. This will keep their teeth stronger and healthier, but also protect their bodies from a wide range of potential health problems that can occur as a result of oral health issues.

Use these tips to help a senior with Alzheimer’s disease keep up with their dental hygiene needs:

• Make it a set part of your routine so that it is predictable and creatures structure in the day. Encourage your parent to brush after each meal, or at least when waking and before going to bed.

• Choose the implements that are most comfortable and accessible for them. Look for toothbrushes that are designed for easier holding and that feature soft bristles for more comfortable use, and toothpaste that has a flavor that they enjoy.

• Stay with them while they brush their teeth so that you can give them clear and precise instructions throughout the process.

• Consider modeling brushing behaviors by brushing your own teeth at the same time, going slowly so that they are able to follow along with what you are doing

Being a family caregiver for an elderly adult can be stressful and challenging. Fortunately, home care can help. If you have found that your parent’s challenges and needs are more than you feel that you can handle successfully and efficiently on your own, or your own limitations have increased so that you are no longer able to do for your senior what you feel that they need or deserve, a care provider could be an invaluable addition to your care routine. This in-home care provider can step in to fill care gaps and ensure that your loved one gets everything that they need at all times, helping to support your efforts in giving them the highest quality of life possible as they age in place. Not only can this care enhance your parent’s life, but it can also be a benefit to you, easing stress, giving you peace of mind, and allowing you to focus on other obligations and needs in your life while knowing that your parent has what they need.

If you or an aging loved one are considering caregivers in Fairfax, VA, please contact the caring staff at Assisting Hands today. (703) 982-0050.