If your loved one occasionally forgets a person’s name or can’t remember why they walked into a room, it’s usually not a cause for concern. If your loved one is constantly asking the same questions over and over again or becomes disoriented when going to the store, it could point to an early sign of Alzheimer’s disease.
Alzheimer’s disease is an illness that causes nerve cells in the brain to die. As this happens, a person thinks less clearly and begins to have trouble remembering. Although the first symptoms of Alzheimer’s vary from person to person, it may initially start with a loved one suddenly having trouble finding the right words or exhibiting an impairment in judgment.
As the disease progresses, loss of memory and confusion grow worse. Your loved one may have trouble recognizing family members or friends. Tasks that require multiple steps, such as getting dressed or brushing teeth, become impossible to perform.
During the later stages of Alzheimer’s, there is typically an inability to communicate. The person becomes totally dependent on others. As the end approaches, they will typically remain in bed most or all of the time as the body begins the process of shutting down.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s. Instead, the National Institute on Aging states that the current protocol doctors use for treating Alzheimer’s is to help patients maintain mental function and manage behavioral symptoms while attempting to slow or delay the symptoms of the disease. Doctors typically prescribe one or more combinations of medications to help manage symptoms. These drugs do not stop the progression of Alzheimer’s but may help slow the advancement of symptoms.
A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease does not automatically mean that your loved one is incapable of taking care of themselves. In fact, it is often beneficial for them to remain in the familiar surroundings of their home. Using a home healthcare aide to sit with your loved one or using other services to fix meals and perform housecleaning duties can help a loved one remain independent. If it’s no longer safe for a loved one to remain home alone, assisted-living communities can provide a feeling of independence, yet keep residents safe under the watchful eye of a caregiver.
June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month. If someone close to you has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, Woodlands can help explore the best options for you and your loved one.
Treatment of Alzheimer’s: https://www.nia.nih.gov/alzheimers/publication/alzheimers-disease-fact-sheet
The holiday season is an exciting time when families gather together, gifts are exchanged, and memories are made.
For many individuals, however, the holidays can bring challenges.
Individuals who suffer from Alzheimer’s or dementia, for instance, can find the holidays overwhelming. The activity, excitement and change of routine can cause agitation and distress. For the caregivers of individuals with dementia, these changes are worrying and can make the holidays an anxious time.
If you’re a caregiver for a person with dementia, preparing for the holidays can help make the entire experience more enjoyable for everyone.
Here are three important tips for dementia caregivers when celebrating the holidays.
1. Schedule Meals and Activities According to Routine
Individuals with Alzheimer’s can have trouble adjusting to a new routine, so when the holidays arrive, there are several challenges to contend with.
For instance, a person with Alzheimer’s might be accustomed to eating lunch and dinner at set times. They might have a routine for rest, watching television and exercising. Disrupting that schedule can cause irritation, confusion and distress.
Coordinate your holiday schedule and meal times so your loved one will feel comfortable and less disrupted by the festivities.
2. Communicate With Other Family Members
If you’re planning a large Christmas gathering with several family members, it’s important to communicate the needs of your loved one with dementia.
Encourage family members to buy gifts that are useful to your loved one, such as comfortable clothes, a cleaning service, or a Safe Return® bracelet .
It’s also important to communicate the individual’s schedule with any visitors and family members. When everyone knows the meal schedule beforehand, expectations are easier to manage.
Additionally, it can help to be transparent about your loved one’s condition. Be honest about your loved one’s issues with communication or discomfort in crowds. Ensuring that each visitor knows what to expect can help everyone avoid harmful or uncomfortable situations.
3. Prepare Your Loved One With Dementia For the Holiday Gathering
It’s important to communicate with your loved one before the craziness of the holiday season arrives.
Show your loved one photos of family members who will be visiting and familiarize them with any visitors they may not remember.
Prepare a quiet room where your loved one can go if they get overwhelmed with all the activity and noise.
4. Take Care of Yourself
It’s easy to get lost in taking care of everyone’s else’s needs during the holiday season. But you have to remember to take care of yourself, as well.
Find a de-stressing technique that works for you . Whether it’s an album of relaxing music, a scent that comforts you, or a movie you love, indulging in something relaxing can help take the edge off.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you have family members who are sensitive to the needs of your loved one with dementia, ask them for help in preparing the meal, cleaning up or organizing activities. Sharing these chores can allow you to focus on other aspects of the holidays.
Don’t be afraid to seek respite care. If you need time off during the holidays, you should allow yourself to take it. A trustworthy respite care provider can ensure that your loved one with dementia is being expertly cared for while you get the rest you need.
Woodlands, LLC is a leading provider of memory care and respite care services in northeast Ohio .
Contact us today to learn more about our services or to schedule a tour of our facilities.
When a person is diagnosed with Alzheimer's, the attention and support the patient and family need is staggering.
For many patients and their loved ones, finding an outstanding Alzheimer’s caregiver is a life-changing experience. The expertise, comfort and peace of mind a great Alzheimer’s caregiver provides can’t be replaced by standard caregiving practices.
This November, as we celebrate Alzheimer's awareness, we also want to celebrate Alzheimer’s caregivers. We can do this by saying thank you, acknowledging their hard work and dedication, and by offering a token of gratitude.
Assisted living caregivers often provide 24/7 supervision and on-call care.
Patients in assisted living facilities (also called communities) are able to live with some degree of independence. However, caregivers are still on hand to help with daily activities like personal hygiene, dressing, mobility and more.
Caregivers are also responsible for managing medication schedules, transporting patients to doctor’s appointments, and arranging social activities for members of the communities. This type of care is very personal, as the caregivers become a part of patients’ everyday lives and often come to feel like a member of the family.
Caregivers working in memory care units likely possess a higher degree of training and qualifications, as this type of care requires attention to specific needs of patients with advanced dementia. These caregivers will provide the same attention seen in an assisted living facility while also engaging residents in activities that stimulate the memory and help slow the progression of mental decline. These types of activities can include games, movies, music, arts and crafts, and more.
A typical day in the life of a caregiver working in memory care can vary. Generally, the caregivers have started prepping the day long before their patients wake up. They prepare medicine, change bed sheets, assist in bathing, and often endure physical and emotional pain--and they do it all with a full heart.
While attention to detail, a patient personality, a compassionate heart, and years of experience handling specialized patients is key to the role of a caregiver, what really makes the difference is a commitment to ensure that each patient receives the love and attention they deserve.To experience this level of care, head over to Woodlands , where our specialized services meet the needs of each individual resident and provide the highest level of comfort.
Seniors, especially, have a lot to gain from regular physical therapy. In fact, the potential of this alternative treatment option has created campaigns to spread awareness and disseminate information regarding physical therapy. October has been dubbed "National Physical Therapy Month," which makes it prudent to consider how it may help you or someone you love.
The primary aim of National Physical Therapy Month in October is to share and spread information related to the benefits of physical therapy as an alternative for long-term pain management. The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) also strives to share information regarding the risks of opioids when managing chronic pain conditions. Physical therapy is a safe and effective option with many potential health perks.
Anyone can potentially benefit from physical therapy treatment, as it is widely used for a host of conditions and injuries. Treatment has been found particularly effective with relieving lower-back pain, osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia. Furthermore, studies show that it may alleviate most non-cancer related pain, without the side effects of prescription medication.
Seniors will find physical therapy advantageous for many age-related issues:
It is vital to have a comfortable and professional relationship with your physical therapist; don't make an appointment with the first practitioner you come across! Review online ratings, patient feedback, and local directories to expand options and find the best fit.
Some tips to find the right physical therapist for you include:
Consider the many ways that physical therapy may help
you and contribute to overall health and well-being. Check out the treatment
options awaiting seniors at Woodlands
, and contact for consultation or more information.