Losing control of bodily functions often accompanies old age. A person’s immune system and brain may also weaken, making them prone to many diseases like Alzheimer’s. Such disorders deprive individuals of their standard functioning and impact their quality of life.
Experts suggest that almost six million adults above 65 have Alzheimer’s. About one in nine individuals older than 65 suffer from the disease. There might be a chance that your aging parents or grandparents also have it. Many people prefer to take care of their loved ones by themselves instead of hiring caretakers. While this is possible, it requires considerable knowledge of the disease and professional insight. It may also be emotionally taxing as it isn’t easy to care for someone prone to behavioral changes.
Table of Contents
What Is Alzheimer’s?
Alzheimer’s is a progressive disorder that destroys your brain cells and causes dementia, a condition where cognitive functions, including thinking, remembering, and reasoning, deteriorate. It also impacts emotions, resulting in a personality change. Your once kind and understanding loved one might establish an irritated and annoyed demeanor due to this disease.
For treating dementia, there are various therapies that can aid day to day activities. Additionally, routine behavior including as obtaining enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, participating in social activities, and exercising are important. To make communication easier for those taking care of a demented person, we have listed some dos and don’ts that should be abided by, like a bible.
How Can You Help?
Here are four ways you can care for your loved one inflicted with Alzheimer’s.
1. Develop Your Knowledge
Alzheimer’s is a disease without an evident cure. New data is being added to the existing research, so you will need to study the disease extensively. Familiarizing yourself with the signs and symptoms will help you understand and adapt to the patient’s behavioral changes.
Alzheimer’s has three stages, mild, moderate, and severe, and each stage has varying signs. Knowing about the phases can help you plan ahead.
People with mild Alzheimer’s can function independently and don’t have many problems participating in social activities, so you don’t have to worry at this stage. However, they struggle with remembering recent events, specific events, or words and may have trouble concentrating. Moderate Alzheimer’s can induce personality changes and loss of control over bladder or bowel movements. Lastly, severe Alzheimer’s patients have problems with their daily tasks and fail to recognize their family and other relatives. They also require the most care and time.
2. Create a Routine
Making a daily routine of tasks will instill a sense of familiarity in the person going through the difficulties dementia entails. This can help them go through their daily tasks efficiently rather than having blank phases. Avoid making abrupt changes to this routine as it may trigger them. However, some changes cannot be avoided. In that case, ease the patient into the changed schedule.
3. Engage in Activities
Planning activities with your loved ones will help them stay active and deepen your bond. These can range from cooking to social outings. Consider the stage of your patient, though, and then plan accordingly. You also need to keep their schedule in mind. Incorporate these activities at that time of the day when they’re most active. A tired Alzheimer’s patient might become too agitated and difficult to handle, so be careful.
4. Consider a Memory Care Facility
Sometimes, the care you can offer an Alzheimer’s patient is not enough. Work and family might take much of your time, making you incapable of caring for your aged loved one. That being the case, consider using a memory care facility.
Memory care facilities like Riverview Retirement Community are tailored to the needs of Alzheimer’s patients. The staff bonds with patients and aids them in daily tasks by providing a nurturing environment. They are also equipped with extensive knowledge of the disease and can handle the patients well. Consider them if you can’t take out the time to assist your loved ones every moment.
It is very stressful to care for someone with Alzheimer’s. You may face many emotional challenges and questions if you are doing enough. You will need a firm conviction while caring for your aged loved one. Get informed on the topic, and if you think that you might not be able to handle it, then opt for a facility.