Dealing with Alzheimer’s disease

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Alzheimer’s disease can be troublesome for the patient and more so for the caregiver. It is associated with symptoms like wandering, not knowing what they want, becoming aggressive, imagining things and having difficulty with sleeping and eating routines.

This can be disturbing for the entire family and the aged person who is suffering from this, can feel helpless. If the condition is well understood and the environment is managed well it can improve the condition as well as the quality of life of the patient and the family.

Tips for you

Some of the tips that can help you manage the situation are:

Identifying and analyzing the problem

The patients often react in a particular manner because of the stressful conditions around them. If the caregivers try to understand this problem they can work to solve it out. Check if all the basic needs like hunger, thirst, sleep have been met properly. Has there been any change in their surroundings or any disturbances at home or in the neighborhood? They may have been emotionally disturbed by someone saying something to them.

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Modify the environment

Once you have identified the problem you can analyze the situation and make an attempt to console the patient. You can also try to modify the other family member’s behaviors to the patient. Help the patient to find out ways to deal with the surrounding disturbances or completely stop them if possible. For example, if daylight is a stressor, you can use curtains or use ear plugs to reduce the noise disturbances.

Managing stress

While it is very important that the caregivers manages their stress well and remain calm, it is also important to make attempts to reduce the patient’s anxiety. They can be kept busy in some activities that interest them like painting, playing musical instruments, playing with young children at home, playing with pets, watching television, listening to music etc. make sure that they do not feel alone and give them an opportunity to interact with people like their friends, neighbors or other family members.

Managing extremes

Disorientation can occur in this case and can lead to wandering, hence needs to be managed effectively. If they tend to get disturbed at a particular time, make sure they are busy or distracted at that time. Give them sufficient exercise and activities so that their minds remain in control. Consider using locks and safety devices in your homes.

Preferably, do not allow the patient to go out alone and in places that are difficult to reach. Make provisions to find them if they wander by keeping an alarm, or a locator in their pocket. Make sure they always have their identity card with the name and address on it.

If they can cause damage to any property, it is important that important things are better kept away from them, in safety lockers. Try not to argue when the patients describe about their imaginations or become aggressive. In some cases, it is necessary to take medical help so trust your instincts and seek professional help when necessary.

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