Getting errands done can be difficult enough. When you're also taking care of someone with Alzheimer's, it can be darn near impossible. Family caregivers are constantly telling us that they have trouble managing the simple daily outings that many of us take for granted: things like going to the grocery store, filling a prescription, or running to the bank.
In this video. the blogger and activist Karen Garner shares her own struggles with trying to maintain normal life around town while caring for her husband, Jim, who has Alzheimer's. As part of our Alzheimer's Friendly Business campaign, Karen says that her family has increasingly relied on the support of a few local businesses that understand what they are going through and will be welcoming to Jim.
But shouldn't most businesses be this way? After all, with a projected 40 percent increase in the number of people over 65 who will be diagnosed with Alzheimer's by 2025, it is something that they will probably encounter with their customers. That's why we are providing training to help businesses know what to do when they encounter Alzheimer's behaviors. In the meantime, here are some telltale signs that a business is ready to serve your needs when you are with someone with Alzheimer's.
Gender-neutral bathrooms: Just like parents of young children, sometimes family members of people with Alzheimer's have to assist their loved ones in the bathroom. This can be tough if they are opposite genders and there are strict M/F restrooms regulations.
Quiet spots: Whether it's in a restaurant, a nail salon or a bank, a constant din of people can be overwhelming for someone with Alzheimer's. Having a peaceful place where they can go to retreat may help prevent them becoming disoriented or agitated.
Polite staff: Businesses who pride themselves on customer service will hopefully have staff that are trained to be respectful and courteous – even when they're confronted with a situation they may not fully understand right away.
Simplicity: Some businesses pride themselves on having a gimmick or intricate style of doing things. This can cause needless confusion for someone with Alzheimer's. Conversely, places with more traditional, straightforward methods can be comforting and familiar – even if the person has never been there before.
Also, whenever possible, try to visit a business during off hours, when you can take your time and there will be minimal distractions for your loved one.
For more information about making business more welcoming for people with Alzheimer's, please contact Home Instead Senior Care of Central Oregon at 541-330-6400.
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