How to Take Care of Someone with Alzheimer’s
Alzheimer’s disease is a neurodegenerative disease that slowly damages the cognitive skills of the person suffering. With time, the disease incapacitates the patient to the point of being unable to communicate, make a decision, or do daily activities. If someone close to you is going through this you should learn about how to take care of someone with Alzheimer’s, as it could turn into a complicated and stressful responsibility if you’re not prepared emotionally.
Guide to Start to Take Care of Someone With Alzheimer’s
1) Get to know the disease and its stages: you can find information online or in a library, or attend a public meeting in your area that will teach you how to take care of someone with Alzheimer’s. It may be difficult to accept some of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, but it is a good idea to get yourself ready for what’s to come. This disease has 7 stages, and it’s important to know what stage the patient is in to determine their symptoms and understand the disease’s progression. After diagnosis, the average patient will live another 8 years, but this number can vary. In some cases, patients have lived 3 years, while other survive another 20.
2) Consult a specialist: The patient needs to be diagnosed by a doctor. Alzheimer’s doesn’t currently have a cure, but there are various pharmaceuticals that can help slow the development of the disease. There are also programs like CogniFit that help stimulate the cognitive functions in the Alzheimer’s patient.
3) Prepare yourself for the changes to come: If you have already learned about the stages of this disease and you know what to expect, you need to be ready both emotionally and physically. When the Alzheimer’s progresses, it’s possible that you’ll have to help the patient go to the bathroom, take care of their personal hygiene, and help them in and out of a wheelchair if they have mobility problems.
4) Make a safe place for the patient: Make the necessary changes to make sure the patient is safe in their home. Keep them from reaching dangerous areas and make sure they are able to get into medicine cabinets. It may sometimes be helpful to keep the them from going outside, as to prevent them from possibly getting lost. You may also need to adapt some areas for limited mobility patients.
5) Make sure they feel supported: People with Alzheimer’s may unintentionally do things we don’t like. Instead of yelling at them like children, we should support them and remind them that we support them and understand the situation.
6) Help them remember: Share stories and memories from their life when you can. People with Alzheimer’s have a hard time creating new information and memories, which is why talking about things from the past may cheer them up.
7) Laugh with them: Try to be happy and upbeat. They may not remember who you are, but try to stay happy and offer love and support.
8) Be consistent: Even though things are difficult, try to not lose your sense of humor and will to fight. There may be times when the person suffering doesn’t understand what’s going on around them, losing the strength to move forward will affect him too. You’re combating Alzheimer’s together.
9) Accept your limitations: Someone suffering from Alzheimer’s requires a lot of care and attention, and not everyone has the ability to give them the care the need. In these cases, it is a good idea to bring them to a specialized center to take care of the patient and give them the care they need. You can also get help from other family members. Remember that you don’t need to go through it alone.
Molly is a writer specialized in health and psychology. She is passionate about neuroscience and how the brain works, and is constantly looking for new content from interesting sources. Molly is happy to give or take advice, and is always working to educate and inspire.
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