Middle aged woman doing puzzle with senior woman memory care for Alzheimer's

An Alzheimer’s Care Guide For Family Caregivers

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Alzheimer’s is one of the most common forms of dementia and affects more than six million Americans. Even though it is very prevalent, there are many misconceptions about the meaning of an Alzheimer’s diagnosis. This stigma can make people living with Alzheimer’s feel lonely and misunderstood. Also, it can contribute to a faster progression of the condition, and lower quality of life. 

If a senior loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, or if you doubt that a loved one might be developing symptoms, it is important for both of you to understand that people with the condition can live satisfying lives for many years after the diagnosis. Living with Alzheimer’s is worthwhile, especially with the help and support from friends and family, caregivers, and healthcare professionals. 

Early Intervention 

As per many experts in memory care, it is important to consult a healthcare provider if your senior loved one starts to experience memory loss or disorientation. These must be warning signs of the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Getting a diagnosis and starting treatment in the early stages can let people with Alzheimer’s enjoy life for years after the diagnosis. Early diagnosis can offer patients access to modern treatment that can slow down the progression of the disease and manage the symptoms of the conditions effectively. 

Apart from early diagnosis and intervention, it is significant to maintain an active lifestyle and seek chances to build interpersonal relationships as these can have a positive impact on the wellbeing of the patient. Human interaction does not need to be limited to face-to-face interactions. Chances to virtually connect to family and friends who cannot be there in person should also be encouraged. 

Helping A Senior Loved One With Alzheimer’s Live A Fulfilling Life 

It can be emotionally and physically challenging to care for a person with Alzheimer’s. If you are a family caregiver, you will be faced with unique challenges, many of which will change with the progression of the disease. The kind of support required will change from patient to patient, as the symptoms will vary from person to person. When compared to caregivers in assisted living and memory care facilities, family caregivers will know their loved ones more intimately and will be able to understand what needs to be done to improve the quality of life, well-being, and overall health of the patient. 

It is recommended for family caregivers to participate alongside their loved ones in activities that they enjoy. This will let caregivers know the likes and dislikes of the patient, making engagement more personal. These interactions will also help build understanding and approach problems with solutions that honor the meaning behind the reaction or expression of the patient. 

Family caregivers can also ensure that their loved one remains socially active. Senior loved ones will feel supported through social interactions and the caregiver will have a chance to take a physical and mental break from the responsibilities of caregiving. Local support groups can also provide helpful resources to caregivers of senior loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease. These groups can help you get educated on what does and does not work in memory care. This can make a very big difference in the caretaking experience received by your loved one. 

Final Thoughts 

A cure for Alzheimer’s disease is yet to come, but studies continue to progress. The more we understand about the disease, the better the treatments will be. This will make it easier for Alzheimer’s patients to manage their symptoms. Research and studies are also necessary for increasing awareness about the disease and eliminating stigma.

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