Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease can be a long, stressful, and very emotional journey. According to a most recent report by the Alzheimer’s Association, there are more than 16 million Americans who serve as unpaid caregivers for people suffering from this ailment. More than half have also been doing this for over four years.
However, the most distressing part is learning to interact with a loved one whose mental decline results in strange behavior or personality changes. This article discusses a few simple tips to help you manage the memory care of your loved one. However, before you get there, here is what you need to know about Alzheimer’s.
What is Alzheimer’s Disease?
In the U.S., Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia. It affects the brain’s cognitive and memory skills. It can also prevent people from carrying out simple tasks. The first signs of Alzheimer’s disease are memory problems. However, as the condition worsens, individuals may experience other symptoms such as confusion and mood changes.
Contrary to popular belief, this condition is not a part of normal aging. The risk of getting Alzheimer’s is increased with age. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, about 5% of Americans with the disease have a younger onset. This means that those with this condition are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s later.
How to Care for Loved Ones Suffering From Alzheimer’s Disease
At the Gardens at Columbine, we understand that Alzheimer’s affects family caregivers. However, we also understand that prepared and knowledgeable caregivers can make a big difference in overall care and comfort. Use these tips for the best care.
Start and Keep a Routine
People with Alzheimer’s tend to prefer familiar tasks and routines. They also don’t like to plan their daily activities. A consistent routine helps people with Alzheimer’s focus on their activities and helps them feel better. It can also decrease their frustration and improve their mood.
Medication Can Help
Like most diseases, Alzheimer’s can be delayed in progress by using certain FDA-approved medication. The most important part is to get an early diagnosis for your loved one. This might help delay the progress of the disease by early treatment. Please note that as the disease progresses, you might need to be present to ensure all the meds are taken.
Understand More About the Disease
Alzheimer’s is a complicated disease with unique characteristics for different individuals. The deeper you dig into the cause and impact of the disease on individuals, the more informed your care for your loved one will be. The Alzheimer’s Association is a great resource for everything you need to know about dementia.
Stay in Touch
Alzheimer’s can leave your loved one feeling lonely or depressed. Staying in constant touch with your loved one is the first step toward support. Remember, Alzheimer’s affects the communication skills of the patient. So, you should prepare yourself to act as an advocate for your loved one while also practicing self-care.
Talk to the Experts
Even the best home care providers need additional help to provide the best possible care for their loved ones. At the Gardens at Columbine, we train our staff members in memory care to ensure that they can meet the needs of those suffering from dementia. Getting the care of a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease is never easy. According to experts, around 60% of caregivers suffer from emotional stress. Gardens at Columbine is a skilled nursing facility that can help provide a supportive environment for those with Alzheimer’s.