Alzheimer's is an irreversible, progressive condition that slowly destroys memory, thinking, and the ability to carry out the most simple tasks. Damage to the brain can begin as early as 10 to 20 years before problems are evident.
Caring for someone with Alzheimer's can be an unrewarding and stressful job. Your day will be filled with emotional ups and downs and you will need to make tough decisions. Many times persons with Alzheimer's will develop behaviors and moods that are hard to cope with.
Here are facts on the disease and tips that may help you get through the challenging days.
- Everyone progresses at a different rate and not everyone will experience all symptoms at the various stages.
- Some plateau at a stage for an extended time and other progress very rapidly.
- Research has shown that a person with Alzheimer's will survive from two to twenty years.
- Alzheimer's does not cause death, however, the disease progresses to the point of many of the body's organs shutting down with the end result being death.
- 45% of American seniors 85 and older suffer from Alzheimer s.
- Early stage can include; getting lost, trouble handling money, forgetfulness, repeating questions, taking an extended amount of time to do daily task, mood and personality changes, and poor judgment.
- Mid stage can include; confusion, memory loss, difficulty recognizing family and friends, impulsive behavior, poor hygiene, hallucinations, delusions, paranoia, and inability to cope with new situations.
- Final stage can include; inability to communicate, dependent on other for complete care, difficulty with mobility and in bed until the organs and body shut down.
Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer's can have extreme physical, emotional, and financial responsibility. Caregivers have an increased likelihood of physical strain, mental and emotional stress, depression, financial issues and interpersonal strain.
Important things to consider.
- Learn all that you can about the disease.
- The Alzheimer's Association offers classes and on line material that will educate you on the practical strategies for dealing with difficult situations.
- Work on coping skills.
- Develop a strong support system; family, friends, church and synagogue.
- Join a support group, most people find this a critical lifeline.
- Find out what respite services are offered. Contact the local Senior Center or National Institute on Aging for information on government assisted programs.
- Take time to take care of yourself by staying physically active and spending time relaxing and enjoying things that make you happy.
If you are finding it difficult to juggle it all- work, family, errands and other demands that leave you over taxed. Where do you turn when a loved ones needs are more than you can manage on your own? Consult Atlanta's most trusted source for quality Home Care, Easy Living Services, Inc. We have supported families since 1994 in an effort to keep loved ones safe, and cared for with personal attention at home.
Call us to learn more 770-442-8664