Alzheimer’s & Dementia Care

Home Care Boosts Morale of Seniors

Alzheimer's is a progressive condition that affects memory, thinking processes, and behavior while destroying brain cells.

 

Nearly 5.7 million persons in the United States were affected by Alzheimer's disease in 2016, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

 

 

Many Alzheimer's patients receive help and care daily from their families, spouses, or close friends. 32% of carers of patients with dementia provide care for 5 years or longer, according to the CDCTrusted Source.

 

In this post, we go through nine suggestions for helping those caring for an Alzheimer's patient. Additionally, we discuss self-care advice for carers and when to seek professional assistance.

 

Understand and Accept Your Loved One's Dementia Diagnosis

A diagnosis of dementia is difficult for both the patient and their loved ones. A diagnosis marks the beginning of a long and uncertain road for many. Suzanne Havrilla, D.P.T., director of home support at Johns Hopkins Home Care Group, explains, "The path ahead may be challenging, but there are tools and information that can help."

 

Many families begin their journey toward acceptance by gaining knowledge through Alzheimer's support groups. These organizations frequently host support groups for dementia patients and their families. Additionally, they can connect families with local practitioners and information. "It is crucial to reassure families that people with this illness can enjoy an excellent quality of life," argues Havrilla. Once they accept this, it may be less difficult for the carers.

about Alzheimer's disease

As Alzheimer's disease proceeds, its symptoms worsen, posing new obstacles for caregivers. Understanding the stages of Alzheimer's disease and its associated symptoms can aid in preparation.

There are three stages of Alzheimer's disease: mild, moderate, and severe.

Mild Alzheimer's disease

Those with Alzheimer's disease in the mild or early stages can nevertheless work independently. They may continue to engage in professional and social activities.

 

During this phase, individuals may have trouble concentrating or recalling previous events. They may forget specific names or words.

Writing and problem-solving difficulties are further early indicators of Alzheimer's disease.

Moderate Alzheimer's disease

Alzheimer's disease is characterized by moderate memory loss, disorientation, and physical symptoms.

Individuals at this stage may show the following symptoms:

  • difficulty recognizing family members and close friends
  • difficulty organizing or following instructions
  • trouble performing regular daily tasks, such as getting dressed
  • restlessness or difficulty falling asleep
  • wandering or getting lost
  • urinary or fecal incontinence
  • personality changes

Severe Alzheimer's disease

Final-stage Alzheimer's patients require assistance with nearly all fundamental daily activities, including sitting up, walking, and eating.

During this stage, individuals may lose the capacity for conversation. They can have trouble chewing and swallowing.

Many individuals with severe Alzheimer's lose awareness of their surroundings and cannot identify their loved ones.

Types of Alzheimer's and dementia.

Alzheimer's disease, the most prevalent dementia, primarily affects short-term memory and language, accounting for around 70% of dementia cases.

Vascular dementia is one of the kinds of disease that is least predictable. It is caused by a series of tiny strokes over a lengthy period and can result in rapid changes in judgment and conduct and sudden changes in ability.

Low-body dementia, the third most prevalent kind of dementia, can cause visual problems, delusional thinking, and severe difficulties with walking and balance.

Frontotemporal dementia is a category of brain illnesses characterized by progressive nerve cell death. It can induce changes in impulse control and behavior, linguistic difficulties, and indifference.

 

Treatment and care

Although there is no cure for Alzheimer's or other forms of dementia, lifestyle changes and medications can help manage symptoms, which is why taking prescriptions as recommended is crucial. Please consult your physician if you or a loved one are experiencing memory problems or other cognitive disorders.

Over fifty percent of older persons with cognitive impairment are never formally diagnosed by a physician. However, family carers face substantial obstacles, regardless of the diagnosis. If an early diagnosis is made, it is often Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), which can encompass a variety of symptoms and behavioral abnormalities and does not always progress to advanced dementia.

Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer's disease or another kind of dementia can be difficult, and the road ahead appears to be riddled with uncertainties. But with the correct level of assistance, your loved one can still experience joy, connection, and significance. Even when a client's sickness worsens, our carers have the training, experience, and understanding to ensure that they may continue to live safely and pleasantly at home.

Risk factors and prevention

Although age is the greatest recognized risk factor for dementia, it is not an unavoidable result of biological aging. Young onset dementia (the onset of symptoms before 65 years of age) accounts for up to 9 percent of dementia cases. According to studies, individuals can minimize their risk of cognitive decline and dementia by being physically active, not smoking, avoiding dangerous alcohol consumption, regulating their weight, eating a good diet, and keeping healthy blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels. Depression, social isolation, low educational achievement, cognitive inactivity, and air pollution are additional risk factors.

Memory Care

Alzheimer's disease and dementia can be difficult for everyone involved, provoking emotions and questions such as "What will happen to my loved one's health?" But the more you know about what to expect and how to prepare, the less intimidating the experience might feel.

Additionally, you do not have to endure this alone. If you need outside support, memory care communities provide a fantastic atmosphere for those with Alzheimer's and dementia. Research indicates that older citizens living in memory care facilities typically enjoy a higher quality of life than those who reside at home. With us, your loved one would reside in an apartment-style residence with safety features, surrounded by peers and caring staff.

The rewards of From the Heart Home Care In-Home Alzheimer’s Care

Caring for a person with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia can often seem to be a series of grief experiences as you watch your loved one’s memories disappear and skills erode. The person with dementia will change and behave in different, sometimes disturbing or upsetting ways. For both caretakers and their patients, these changes can produce an emotional wallop of confusion, anger, and sadness.

As the disease advances, your loved one’s needs will increase and your caregiving responsibilities will become more challenging. At the same time, the ability of your loved one to show appreciation for all your hard work will diminish. Caregiving can literally seem like a thankless task. For many, though, a caregiver’s journey includes not only challenges, but also many rich, life-affirming rewards.

Challenges of Alzheimer’s self-care:

  • Overwhelming emotions as your loved one’s capabilities decrease
  • Fatigue and exhaustion
  • Isolation and loneliness
  • Financial and work complications

Rewards of Alzheimer’s In-home care:

  • Your relationship with your loved one deepens through care, companionship, and service
  • Your problem-solving and relationship skills improve
  • You form new relationships through your From the Heart Home Care, LLC support staff
  • Unexpected rewards develop through compassion and acceptance

Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease or another type of dementia can be a long, stressful, and intensely emotional journey. But you are not alone. From the Heart Home Care, LLC offers in-home Alzheimer’s Care so that your loved one does not have to worsen their mental state by being in an unfamiliar environment in a facility surrounded by a sea of unfamiliar faces.

In the United States, there are more than 16 million people caring for someone with dementia—and many millions more around the world. As there is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s or dementia—and only limited medical treatments available for the symptoms—it is the appropriate caregiving that can make the biggest difference to your loved one’s quality of life. That is a remarkable gift.

Caregiving yourself can become an all-consuming responsibility. As your loved one’s cognitive, physical, and functional abilities diminish over a period of years, it is easy to become overwhelmed and neglect your own health and well-being. The burden of caregiving can put you at increased risk for significant health problems and many dementia caregivers experience depression, high levels of stress, or burnout. And nearly all Alzheimer’s or dementia family caregivers at some time experience sadness, anxiety, loneliness, and exhaustion. Seeking professional help and support along the way is not a luxury; it is a necessity.

Just as each individual with Alzheimer’s disease progresses differently, so too can the at-home care experience vary widely from person to person. However, there are strategies that can aid you and your caregiver and help make your loved one’s treatment journey as rewarding as it is challenging.

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