ALZHEIMER’S BEGINS 20 YEARS
OR MORE BEFORE MEMORY LOSS
AND OTHER SYMPTOMS DEVELOP
The “2023 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures” report by the Alzheimer’s Association shows that over 6.7 million Americans have Alzheimer’s or other types of dementia, with more than 10% of those aged 65 and older affected.
People with dementia may choose to live in a memory care facility as their care needs increase. However, most prefer to remain in their homes among familiar surroundings and established support systems for as long as possible.
It’s heartening to know that there are 11 million people out there providing care to their loved ones, taking care of everything from self-care to paperwork, medical coordination, and emotional support. It’s a tough job, but their selflessness and dedication are inspiring.
If you care for a loved one with dementia, learn about their condition to adjust. Understand changes in personality and behavior, such as wandering, aggression, confusion, anxiety, and sleep issues. Adjust how you spend time together and seek suggestions from healthcare providers.
Individuals with dementia benefit from appropriate mental stimulation to reduce symptoms and potentially slow memory loss. Adapt enjoyable activities and seek dementia-friendly programs in the community, such as listening to music, browsing photo albums, or completing household chores together.
Explore dementia-friendly products such as puzzles, crafts, and games designed for changing needs. Music and photo programs that evoke memories and create pleasure. Weighted sensory blankets with objects and textures provide soothing comfort in later stages.
Encourage your loved one to stay physically active by adapting activities as their condition changes. You can go for walks, dance, or do simple workouts together. Even household tasks such as dusting and sweeping can provide physical exercise.
Respectfully assist with personal hygiene. Communicate with your loved one and break down tasks step by step.
When caring for a loved one with dementia, it’s crucial to maintain their dietary needs. However, this can be challenging due to decreased appetite and forgetfulness. Please encourage them to help with meal preparation and eat with them to increase their desire. If they are having difficulty chewing or swallowing, consult their healthcare provider.
In communication with your loved one with dementia, validate their interpretation of things instead of correcting them. Listen to their thoughts and recollections, even if they aren’t accurate. Whether open-ended or “yes/no” questions work better for them and focus on their feelings.
As your loved one’s illness progresses and their condition changes, they will require more care and support from you. Towards the end of their life, they may lose the ability to communicate and need assistance with all activities.
Help is available for dementia caregivers.
As a dementia caregiver, accessing support services is crucial for you and your loved one. These services include public senior support, home safety modifications, support groups and counseling, education and advocacy, aging life care professionals, and respite care. Caregiving is rewarding but can be physically and emotionally taxing, often affecting the caregiver’s career, family relationships, and health.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association report, professional in-home caregivers can delay nursing home placement and reduce hospitalizations. These caregivers provide companionship, supervision, and support tailored to clients’ and families’ needs. It’s essential to choose a caregiver trained in memory care.
Professional in-home caregivers help in many ways:
Caregivers can ensure a safe and comfortable home environment by providing housekeeping, laundry, removing fall hazards, and maintaining the client’s independence. They can also assist with personal care, including toileting, incontinence care, bathing, dressing, and grooming, while preserving the client’s dignity and family relationships.
Professional in-home caregivers can assist with grocery shopping and meal preparation and provide company during meals as the client’s healthcare provider recommends.
A day full of meaningful activities can enhance the well-being of individuals with dementia, alleviate symptoms, and provide a sense of purpose. In-home caregivers can aid with healthcare needs and offer respite for family caregivers.
Devoted Care service’s professional caregivers are trained to understand and meet the needs of clients living with dementia. Contact us today and ask for a FREE in-home assessment.