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Fruitful Tips For Alzheimer's Caregivers

Alzheimer's (1)

It is truly said that we value someone’s love when they can no longer remember us. Something similar happens to people with Alzheimer’s and their loved ones. Alzheimer’s disease happens to be a brain ailment that gradually impairs thinking and memory abilities and the capacity to carry out even the most basic tasks. Additionally, psychological and behavioural changes are common in people with Alzheimer’s. 

The disease was named after Dr Alois Alzheimer, who observed alterations in a woman’s brain tissues who had expired due to a rare mental ailment in the year 1906. Linguistic difficulties, memory loss and unpredictable conduct were some of her symptoms. After examining her brain after she passed away, he came across multiple aberrant aggregates (amyloid plaques) and twisted fibre bundles (now called neurofibrillary, or tau, tangles). 

Such plaques and tangles in the brain are regarded as one of the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease. Neurons is another characteristic. Neurons convey signals from the brain to the body’s muscles and organs, as well as between other brain regions. Alzheimer’s disease is also thought to be influenced by a variety of other intricate brain alterations. 

Other symptoms include-

  • Trouble focusing
  • A hard time doing ordinary activities
  • Feeling confused or frustrated, especially at night
  • Dramatic mood swings — outbursts of anger, anxiety, and depression
  • Feeling disoriented and getting lost easily
  • Physical problems, such as an odd walk or poor coordination
  • Trouble communicating            
Alzheimer’s patients may lose sight of their loved ones. They might lose their ability to groom themselves, eat for themselves, and relieve themselves.  Over time, the condition causes the breakdown of brain tissue. Typically, those over 65 experience it. Alzheimer’s disease can affect a person for a small time period or for several decades. But more frequently, individuals put up with it for nine years. About 1 in 8 adults over 65 have the condition. In comparison to men, women are more likely to have it.  A person with this disease needs a tremendous amount of care and protection. With the progression of the illness, your responsibility for handling daily duties will grow if you are caring for someone who has Alzheimer’s disease or similar dementia. Take into account the below-mentioned valuable tips that can help you handle chores efficiently while allowing the person with dementia to engage as much as possible. 
  • Knowing the illness will help you deal with changes better

Being an Alzheimer’s caregiver is challenging and complicated. Knowing is half the battle, as they say. Educating yourself as much as you can helps you get ready for what lies ahead and make you a better caretaker. Understanding how the disease operates will help you deal with the signs and actions of your elderly relative.  A caregiver should be thorough with top Alzheimer’s facts, symptoms, medications, and more. Discover the distinctions between dementia and Alzheimer’s, the other eight types of dementia, as well as the most important information regarding Alzheimer’s.
  • Learn new communication techniques to prevent fights and frustration 

Knowing that your communication style will need to change when caring for someone with dementia or Alzheimer’s is among the most important things to know. It benefits you both to learn new communication techniques. Your life will be simpler and less stressful when your older adult is calm since they are less prone to become irate or upset. Learn how essential body language is, how to communicate in a constructive way, why correcting someone might backfire, and why experts advise lying. You can also take group therapy to relate with other similar people and learn more.
  • Establish a routine to get more comfortable

Establishing a regular daily schedule will make a person feel more at ease, according to caregivers. By doing this, you can support the Alzheimer’s patient’s sense of familiarity. An individual may become confused if a caregiver makes significant modifications to a routine. Unavoidable changes can occasionally occur, such as the addition of a new care provider or a change in the location of care. Caretakers should try to make changes gradually because people with Alzheimer’s frequently need time to become used to new people a
  • Plan activities to spend some quality time together

Spending meaningful time with your older adult is still crucial, even though the sickness may have impacted how they act. This makes them feel secure, pleased, and happy while also making you feel closer to them. As the condition worsens and their cognitive abilities deteriorate, the activities you share will need to change. Complex hobbies or deep talks might not be as effective today. Instead, spend time reading picture books, playing simple games, listening to their favourite music, or going through old family photos of fun times.
  • Prevent chronic stress and burnout with frequent breaks

You can’t completely eliminate the stress of caregiving, but there are ways to manage it and reduce the negative effects on your body and mind. The most important thing is to not try to do it alone. Caregiving requires a team, no matter if it’s made up of family, friends, hired helpers, outside services like an adult day program, or a combination. This gives you much-needed regular breaks and time to recharge. Find out how to get family to help, where to find respite care services, what to do if your family can’t agree on your senior’s care needs, and how to manage stress, so you avoid burning out. As a caregiver, dealing with an Alzheimer’s sufferer can have adverse impact on your mental as well as physical health. Therefore, taking care of yourself is also important. You might have waited weeks, months, or even years to acknowledge that your parent, your partner, or another loved one has dementia. Follow these tips to make this journey easier! You can also turn to Parul Sevashram Hospital’s department of neurosciences for cutting-edge medical services and facilities that feel like ‘apno jaisi seva’!

Written by Parul Sevashram Hospital  |  16 January 2023