Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care
Alzheimer’s is a disease that affects an individual’s memory, thinking, and behavior. The effects and symptoms of Alzheimer’s will progressively get worse, eventually becoming severe enough to interfere with the ability to complete daily tasks. This gradual progression of Alzheimer’s typically takes a number of years to get severe enough to interfere with daily life. In its early stages, memory loss is usually mild, but as individuals enter the later stages of Alzheimer’s, they begin to lose the ability to carry on a conversation and to effectively respond to their surrounding environment.
Alzheimer’s is sixth in terms of the leading causes of death in the United States. After the initial onset of noticeable Alzheimer’s symptoms, individuals will, on average, life for about eight years, but how long an individual survives after a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s has been known to range from as short as four years to as long as twenty years- it all depends on the age and other health factors that unique to each individual.
Some of the first signs of the disease are lapses in memory and problems finding the right words while talking. Other symptoms of Alzheimer’s that may manifest are:
- Memory problems: A couple of examples of common memory problems are forgetting the way back home or being unable to remember names and places that one has been to.
- Mood changes: As Alzheimer’s spreads, it begins to affect the areas of the brain that control emotions, causing individuals who realize what is happening to them to become depressed, angry, or scared
- Communication problems: These can involve the breakdown of the ability to talk, read, write, or any combination of those
Unfortunately, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s and there is no current treatment available that can halt the progression of Alzheimer’s. However, it is possible to temporarily slow down the spreading of Alzheimer’s in the brain as well as improve the quality of life for those with Alzheimer’s and those who love them.
Caring for seniors with Alzheimer’s
Caring for seniors with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia requires experience and knowledge, as well as compassion. Eating healthy foods, such as vegetables, fruits, and whole-grain products, is essential. And we know that simply being active and getting plenty of exercise improves the health and mood of people with dementia. Exercise helps keep muscles, joints, and the heart in good shape. It also helps people stay at a healthy weight, have regular bowel movements, and keep healthy sleep habits.
One of the main things to remember about Alzheimer’s care- and dementia care in general- is that any senior citizen will consider the ability to live independently as a sign of dignity; recognizing this desire to remain self-sufficient is critical no matter how advanced the case of Alzheimer’s. Allowing an individual with Alzheimer’s to keep this sense of independence will help them emotionally cope with the effects of Alzheimer’s. Of course, letting an individual with Alzheimer’s live independently while making sure that someone is there to keep watch over them is a delicate balance, but once that balance is found, living with Alzheimer’s will go much more manageable, for both the individual and the person caring for them.
At San Diego Compassionate Caregivers we strive to provide the best Alzheimer’s care as well as other dementia services, helping our clients live and enjoy their lives to the fullest by providing the support and help they need along the way. Our mission and philosophy is to use every opportunity to help our clients with Alzheimer’s feel better about themselves and their lives.
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