Unknown to most, Alzheimer’s disease is NOT a normal part of aging. Alzheimer’s is a neuro-degenerative disorder that will eventually lead to the death of neurons. With a patient that suffers from Alzheimer’s, their neuro-transmitters that will send out signals are often less in numbers. An Alzheimer’s patient can also develop protein and fiber deposits within the brain that can often resist proper functioning. As a result of this, their brain cells are unable to send the proper signals to the other sections of the brain and in the end, the brain cells will ultimately shrink and die. Today’s medical research has shown that the actual damage to the brain can begin at least ten years before any symptoms begin to show. This is often known as the “pre-clinical phase” when the Alzheimer’s individual is currently symptom free. This is then followed by the “impairment phase” where the Alzheimer’s sufferer may appear to be a bit more “absent minded” than usual which then ultimately is followed up by the “Dementia phase”. Understanding Alzheimer’s is an important aspect of diagnosis and recognition.
Those who suffer from Alzheimer’s often have several or all of these cognitive disabilities:
– Often repeats statements/questions.
– Regresses to a different age or alternates between present and past.
– Unable to perform activities crucial to daily living.
– Unable to express them-self due to restricted language capacities.
– Executive functions, such as logical reasoning, abstract thinking, and judgment, are impaired.
– Often becomes child like and requires every day assistance.
Caring for someone who suffers from Alzheimer’s can be a bit of a challenge. But it often helps to:
– It will be imperative that you ensure you offer care that is more than just medical. While medication can often help in slowing the initial decline, human-touch and interaction can go a very long way. Most of the time someone diagnosed with Alzheimer’s lacks insight of what is actually happening to them, therefore it is crucial to attend to any of their symptoms with a concerning, non-judgmental attitude.
– Sometimes simple activities, such as music or reading, on a daily basis can make a word of difference. It is extremely important to remember to stimulate all of their senses.
– Usually in the early stages, there is often some insight still left and your loved one may be confused as to what is happening. They may have a constant want or need to seek help from others for their every day needs and this may often trigger depression or frustration. Make sure you make them feel accepted and loved.
– When you have a loved one going through the stages of Alzheimer’s, you may feel overwhelm with emotions time to time. You will of course be worrying about how this will change your life as well as your loved one. It is normal to feel emotions ranging from anger to grief. Make sure to give yourself time to heal and never hesitate to ask for help. The more support you have, the better you will be to offer support to your loved one.
Understanding and caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s can be a difficult and emotional time in your life but understanding and acceptance is the first step of this process. If you have a loved one in need of senior care in Denver, contact us today.
About Senior Path:
We are a professional, senior housing advisory service which provides personal attention to Seniors and their families. We employ a staff of talented, caring Advisors who have vast experience helping Seniors and their families through this transition. Our Advisors have extensive backgrounds in the Senior Care industry enabling them to understand what Seniors want and need.