A lot of adult children are struggling in dealing with parents who have alzheimer’s disease, for some, they find out too late that their parents or loved ones are already suffering from this chronic illness so it is therefore important to look for the warning signs. A common sign of aging is forgetfulness, however, if it becomes too frequent and you also notice signs of disorientation to time and place and unpredictable moods, you should be alarmed. It is always best to consult a physician so he can run a series of cognitive exams. A lot of long-term care dependents suffer from Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, it would be helpful if we are aware of the symptoms of the disease and we are knowledgeable on how to deal and manage it.
Are you looking for tips on how to care for the elderly love one with dementia? Dementia is not a specific disease, but a non-specific syndrome. It is characterized by a decline of mental abilities like thinking, reasoning and memory. It usually occurs in the elderly. However, dementia can also occur before the person reaches the age of 65, in this case, it is termed as “early onset dementia”.
This syndrome affects the elderly in so many ways that it is often difficult to ascertain specific ways to care for them. They can be forgetful, sad and sometimes violent. It is important that you find ways to make them feel loved and comfortable as possible. Here are effective tips on taking care of an elderly with dementia:
Keep Tasks And Activities As Short As Possible
Since dementia affects the person’s thinking and reasoning, avoid information overload. Forgetfulness is a common problem in dementia and if a task or activity is not done, it can easily become a root of frustration. You can give simple, but clear instructions one at a time like take a shower.
Help with Personal Care
A person with dementia can easily get frustrated with simple everyday tasks like putting on a shirt or socks. If possible, allow your loved one to continue as much personal care as he can while you stay close by. You can help with dressing by giving clothes to your loved one in the order in which they need to be put on. You can verbally encourage him or give simple instructions like “here is your shirt”, or “Here is your other sock”.
Prepare Healthy and Nutritious Meals
Dementia can affect a person’s perception to food and eating. If you are in charge to care for the elderly with Dementia, make sure that you prepare food that are appetizing and healthy. Include plenty of fruits and vegetables because these foods can provide the person enough energy to last for the day.
Avoid Situations that Can Increase Aggravation
When caring for someone with dementia, know the activities that can trigger his agitation. Steer away from these situations and circumstances because agitation can bring about dementia symptoms. If you notice that he easily becomes agitated in populated areas, avoid taking him there. Instead take him someplace quieter where he can relax.
Hazard-Proof Your Home
When your loved one is dealing with dementia, make sure that the home environment is not cluttered. This will eliminate tripping hazards and distractions, which may add to the person’s confusion. Also, keep away razors and harmful medications. Since memory and forgetfulness is an issue, you can apply special devices to be used on faucets to control water temperature. This will help prevent burns.
To care for the elderly with dementia is not easy. Your loved one may struggle to perform familiar tasks and remember recent events. It can also progressively get worse as memory deteriorates. In the advanced stages, round-the-clock care is usually required. Planning ahead for these possibilities can help make decisions easier. Knowing your options for long term care can help you make an informed decision.
Coping With Alzheimer’s Disease
What is Alzheimer ’s disease? Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive and degenerative disease. Primarily, it destroys the brain cells. Unlike most cells in the body, the brain cells cannot reproduce. Once the neurons or brain cells are dead, they cannot be replaced. That is the reason when a person have Alzheimer’s disease it is likely permanent.
Alzheimer’s Disease Statistics
According to Alzheimer’s association, the disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. It is also the most common form of dementia; more than five million Americans are suffering from this condition. Many people associate aging with Alzheimer’s disease. This is partly true because aging is a risk factor for the development of Alzheimer. However, it is important to know that this condition is not a normal part of aging.
Causes Of Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s disease is caused by atrophy of the brain. The structure and functionality of the brain becomes damage. The exact cause of the condition is stil not known, but people with Alzheimer’s disease have been found to have abnormal amounts of protein and fibres in the brain.
Who Are At Risk?
The greatest risk factor associated with this condition is age. The possibility of developing Alzheimer doubles every five years, one the person reaches the age of 65. However, it is important to know that there are cases wherein young adults develop this condition. Other risk factors for this condition are genetics, individuals with Down’s syndrome, whiplash and head injuries. Individuals with vascular disease like diabetes and high blood pressure are also at risk for developing this degenerative condition.
Symptoms of Alzheimer
The Mayo Clinic states that the rate at which symptoms appear and worsen varies from person to person. If you have Alzheimer’s, you may be the first to notice that you’re having abnormal difficulty remembering things and organizing your thoughts. People have occasional memory lapses. As not to be confused, it is normal for people to forget the name of a person or where they put their keys. But the memory loss associated with this condition can continue and overtime it can worsens. Most of the time, because of severe memory loss, it affects their ability to function at work and at home. Other symptoms associated with this condition are disorientation and misinterpretation of spatial relationships. It also affects skills like speaking and writing.
Alzheimer And Long Term Care
Since Alzheimer patients lose their ability to perform normal function, they need help in order to survive. Even the simplest activities like talking or walking becomes a struggle. As the condition progression, people with Alzheimer would greatly benefit from long term care as they need someone who will assist them on their everyday functions like bathing, dressing and eating.
Across the country, there are many long term care settings and Alzheimer’s care facility available. They provide support with personal care and daily activities, such as housekeeping and meal preparation. They also offer services that help people with Alzheimer cope with their condition and stay as independent as possible.