Has your loved one recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, or are you a professional caretaker responsible for an Alzheimer's patient? If so, then read on to learn five facts about caring for an individual with Alzheimer's.
1. One of the most common symptoms of Alzheimer's disease is poor and sometimes even reckless decision making.
One of the most common and dangerous behaviors in Alzheimer's patients is wandering. According to research, approximately sixty percent of individuals with Alzheimer's disease will wander at some point. This can be extremely dangerous, especially if the individual wanders into an area of high crime or heavy traffic.
Other examples of poor decisions that an individual with Alzheimer's disease may make include:
- Going outside in the cold without a jacket
- Spending large amounts of money on items that they can't afford
- Getting into a car with a stranger
Due to the likelihood of an Alzheimer's patient participating in some type of risky or dangerous behavior, it is imperative that you they are constantly supervised.
2. You need to be prepared for possible major mood swings. According to the University of Pennsylvania Health System, people with Alzheimer's disease may display very rapid mood swings for no obvious reason. Some of the most common mood swings that you may experience from an Alzheimer's patient include:
- Increased anxiety over normal situations
- Unexplained anger or agitation
- Bursts of crying with no apparent cause
3. Understand that your communication patterns with the Alzheimer's patient will need to change. As the disease progresses, the patient will experience a decrease in their ability to effectively communicate their thoughts and feelings. They will also lose the ability to follow complex conversations with others. It is important to follow these tips to effectively communicate with somebody suffering from Alzheimer's:
- When answering questions, give very simple and short answers.
- Allow the individual plenty of time to comprehend what you have said. Do not repeat yourself unless the individual has stated that they do not understand or ask you to repeat yourself.
- Do not argue with the individual. This will only increase their confusion and frustration.
4. As the disease progresses, the individual will most likely need help with all daily activities. Many individuals will lose the ability to do regular household chores, such as: dishes, laundry, sweeping, and vacuuming.
In the late stages of the disease, the individual may have difficulty feeing, dressing, and bathing themselves.
In addition, incontinence is very common in the late stages of this disease. Therefore, you need to be prepared to clean them and their furniture or bedding if they have an accident.
Caring for an individual with Alzheimer's disease can be very frustrating and stressful. However, by considering these facts, you can ensure a positive and relaxing experience for the Alzheimer's patient and yourself. To learn more, contact a company such as ComForcare Home Care - Boca Raton, FL with any questions you have.Share