4 Facts In Alzheimer’s Care
Alzheimer’s disease accounts for a majority of dementia cases. Regardless of what you call it, Alzheimer’s care can create challenges for both family and professional caregivers.
The time it takes for Alzheimer’s to run its course varies from person to person. It seems to be affected by gender as well as the onset of age. There is no way to accurately predict the timing of each stage of deterioration. Not everyone exhibits the same severity of each symptom. However, if your loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, anticipating these common symptoms can help make Alzheimer’s care a bit easier.
Fact 1 – The Broader Implications Of Memory Loss
Minor memory problems can quickly become major, as years of memories as well as acquired knowledge are lost. Your loved one may forget any relationships formed in the most recent years, including young grandchildren. Language may pose even a bigger challenge. If you are used to relating to your loved one in their second language, you may need to learn some of their birth language or consider a home care worker that has bi-lingual skills. It is common for Alzheimer’s patients to revert to it their native language when they forget English. Anticipating and accepting this can keep you from creating unnecessary stress over something that cannot be avoided. However, memories can sometimes be maintained longer if they are exercised through reminiscing over photos and mementos as well as playing games that challenge the mind.
Fact 2 – Vision Loss
Peripheral vision is another faculty slowly lost as the brain is affected by Alzheimer’s disease. Anticipating this allows you to form the habit of approaching your loved one from the front rather than the side, thereby reducing anxiety and confusion and allowing your loved one a better chance of recognizing who is approaching. Eventually a person with Alzheimer’s may develop Visual Agnosia (the inability to comprehend what is seen), meaning the loss of ability to read, write, and recognize faces, places, and objects; this may mean “drawing a blank” or totally misinterpreting what they see. Again, understanding this in advance can help you stay calm if or when it happens to your loved one.
Fact 3 – Controlling Your Emotions Helps In Alzheimer’s Care
It can be very important to maintain a calm, confident, and cheerful disposition around a person with Alzheimer’s disease, as emotional mimicry has been found to be a way that they connect with those around them. If you are the caretaker, the stress of caring for someone with increasing dementia will more than likely provide some negative emotions, but if those emotions are dealt with away from your loved one they will not stimulate the person being cared for to also act worried, frustrated, irritable or angry. The emotional behavior of either you or a professional caregiver can be a positive management tool. Displaying only calm and cheerful emotions for the Alzheimer’s patient to mimic can produce a more cooperative encounter, thus reducing stress and difficulty all around.
Fact 4 – Physically Reverting To Infancy Can Pose Additional Challenges For Family Caregivers
By the latter stages of Alzheimer’s, the abilities of people with the disease are reduced to that of an infant. They have forgotten everything they’ve ever learned, including toilet training. It can be physically challenging to care for a grown person with both bowl and bladder incontinence. If you have managed to care for your loved one with Alzheimer’s in the earlier stages, you may need to engage a professional in-home caregiver to assist in the latter stages.Home & Hearth Caregivers are experienced in caring for people with Alzheimer’s disease. We would be happy to give you a free consultation regarding the individual needs of you and your loved one. The important thing for you to always remember is that you do not have to go this difficult route all on your own.