Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s is one of the biggest challenges a person can face.
One of the most important things you can do as a caregiver is to set reasonable expectations. For many family members caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s is a road too rocky to manage. When possible, a good senior citizens facility that works with Alzheimer’s patients is the best solution for you and your suffering family member. Most require very specialized care and having your loved one in the hands of a professional will help them and give you a sense of calm.
Most of us know Alzheimer’s is a disease that affects the memory, judgment and logical thinking of an individual with this disease. These symptoms may intensify as the disease progresses and your loved one’s faculties decline. Although there are treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, doctors still cannot cure it. Life expectancy after a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s generally varies from 6 to 8 years but can reach 20 years for some people.
Stages of Alzheimer
Alzheimer’s has three stages. The first stage is the lightest form, in which the elder begins to have occasional loss of memory or to forget where his belongings are. At this stage of Alzheimer’s, many sufferers have difficulty with more complex reasoning and have prolonged personality changes. Many still work almost normally.
In the second stage, the disease is moderate. At this point, the first symptoms, such as memory loss, personality changes, and confusion intensify. Caregivers now need to help the older adult navigate his or her environment, as he or she may have difficulty identifying where he or she is and thereby putting themselves at risk without realizing it. Moreover, it is at this stage that many begin to confuse their relatives with another, to forget their name or not to recognize them.
The final stage of Alzheimer’s is the phase of severe dementia. At this stage, the older adult is no longer able to follow a conversation or interact with his environment and needs 24-hour supervision. In addition to the declining mental faculties, physical disorders caused by illness begin to manifest themselves. The person may have difficulty walking, their muscles and reflexes may react abnormally, and they may end up unable to feed themselves.
It is essential for a family caregiver to be mentally prepared, to know what to expect, and to resist the temptation to feel guilty as the disease progresses.
Tips to Help You Care for Someone with Alzheimer
The best advice you can give when it comes to caring for a person with Alzheimer’s/dementia is to have patience. Form short sentences the more information they contain, the more likely the individual will become confused and the more difficult it is for him or her to understand what you are telling them. When planning your day, try, as much as you can, to avoid changing their routine.
Another good tip, “Try to maintain their physical appearance as it was before their health status started to decline.” Give them some sense of normality. An Alzheimer’s patient’s health can decline rapidly, watching how they act is important since simple activities like brushing their teeth or showering can become a challenge. You will need to step in and remind or assist the individual, the more they get confused the more agitated they can become.
One thing is certain, the lingering effects of the disease on a family member as a caregiver will be very difficult to manage, especially when the person is close to your heart. However, if you follow these tips and those of the doctors, you and your family will experience the experience with less difficulty.
If you are ready to secure a senior living facility that works with Alzheimer’s patients, then we suggest you start with the best company to assist in your search, please contact www.elderlink.net for help finding the best elder care options.