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Caring for a person with Alzheimer’s Dementia

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Finding out your loved one has Alzheimer’s Dementia can be devastating. Caring for that person is not easy and at times, you will have to find someone else who can care for them. It is crucially significant to know the correct way to provide care for an Alzheimer’s Dementia patient so either you can successfully do it or find the right person to do it for you.

Dementia, a general term for loss of memory and other mental abilities severe enough to interfere with daily life, is caused by physical changes in the brain. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of Dementia.

The following are symptoms of Alzheimer’s Dementia, which gradually advance over time:

  • Memory loss, for example, difficulty remembering names and recent events
  • Depression and lack of enthusiasm or concern
  • Disorientation, impaired judgment and confusion
  • Mood and behavior changes
  • Paranoia and suspicion about people who are close to them
  • Difficulty speaking, swallowing and walking

Many people have a very difficult time dealing with someone who has Alzheimer’s Dementia because they do not know enough about the disease and lack proper training. Even some trained professionals get easily frustrated with people who have this disease and improperly care for them.

When handling someone with Alzheimer’s Dementia, one must possess patience, empathy, advanced communication skills, compassion and love. People with this disease will often become confused, combative and unwilling to care for themselves appropriately so it is vitally important for people who are caring for a person with Alzheimer’s Dementia to approach each patient on a case-by-case basis.

The following are great ways to manage people with Alzheimer’s Dementia:

  1. Get to know the patient. The more you know about the person’s likes, dislikes, past life, hobbies and passions, the better you can use that information to persuade them to do things as simple as eat, go to the bathroom or go to bed.
  2. Give the patient time. No one likes to be forced to do things he or she does not want to do especially an older person who has this disease. Give them the time they need and encourage them to want to do what they need to do.
  3. Talk to the patient. Older people like to talk about their life and how they are feeling, particularly Alzheimer’s Dementia patients. Ask them how they feel or ask them about their day. Ask them about a good memory they remember about their past. This will open the person up to you and make them more manageable.
  4. Express your care and empathy. It is always comforting to someone who is confused and scared about where they are to let them know how much you care and that you understand how they feel. Reassure them that everything is okay and just to take things one day or step at a time.
  5. Keep them engaged. Keeping a person with this disease involved with activities they like can help them keep their minds from wandering and questioning themselves about where they are and who you are. Alzheimer’s Dementia patients can easily become confused, forget why they are where they are, and want to leave to go somewhere they remember in the past.

Do not forget that your loved one will be going through an extremely trying time so try to put yourself in his or her shoes and treat them how you would want to be treated if the same was happening to you.

Find out more on how to care for a person with Alzheimer’s Dementia here.

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