Alzheimer's and Dementia Care
TLC HomeCare Services fully understands the effect that dementia and Alzheimers can have on clients and their families. Therefore, we are able to provide the support and caregivers needed who understand how to deal with the signs and symptoms of this progressive disease.
ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE is the most common cause of dementia in the elderly. There is no cure unfortunately; however, there are medications that can be taken to slow the process down. It usually occurs after age 65 and is not a normal part of aging. We don’t know how you get Alzheimers but it has been noted that a family history can make you predisposed to the disease. Alzheimers statistics show that 1 in 3 seniors over 85 years of age have the disease . The medical community has become better at identifying and diagnosing Alzheimers. There are 3 basic stages of this disease: early, middle and late. A person can go back and forth between stages as the disease progresses, however, the late stage can happen quickly and the patient can decline rapidly. Alzheimers disease damages the part of the brain that controls response to communication. The amount and type of damage may vary from person to person. Every situation is unique and is treated on an individual basis. A geriatric neurologist or your physician will make this diagnosis.
10 WARNING SIGNS
The Alzheimer’s Association tells us that Alzheimer’s is a fatal brain disease that progresses over time and causes changes in thinking and reasoning skills. These ten warning signs, one or two of which may happen occasionally in healthy seniors, are cause for concern when they start to become the norm. If you notice any of these signs in yourself or your loved one, please see your doctor.
- Memory Changes That Disrupt Daily Life
- Challenges In Planning Or Solving Problems
- Difficulty Completing Familiar Tasks At Home, At Work Or At Leisure
- Confusion With Time Or Place
- Trouble Understanding Visual Images And Spatial Relationships
- New Problems With Words In Speaking Or Writing
- Misplacing Things And Losing The Ability To Retrace Steps
- Decreased Or Poor Judgement
- Withdrawal From Work Or Social Activities
- Changes In Mood And Personality
For More Information On This Disease Please Visit www.alz.org.
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Caring for Someone with Alzheimer’s
Here are a few simple rules adapted from The Alzheimer Family Care Guide, for family members dealing with known or suspected Alzheimer’s or dementia.
The behavior of an Alzheimers patient is the opposite of regular aging (infant to elderly).
- Never try to reason with them. Verbal skills are lost first while written skills are usually remembered longer.
- They may ask something over and over again. Be patient. Keep repeating the answer to them. Speak slowly and simply and be calm and reassuring.
- Don’t shout or yell at them.
- Don’t demand or give commands.
- Do not argue with them, you can’t convince them to see it your way.
- They are frightened, they cannot reason.
- Reassure them constantly and walk away if you become frustrated.
- Don’t startle them. Approach them from the front and make eye contact. This conveys trust and honesty to them.
- Talk to them on their level, bending down to them.
- Touch them gently to continue reassuring them.
- They will mirror your behavior and mood.
- If they see something or someone or talk about someone coming to see them that you know is not fact, VALIDATE what they are saying. Go along with it, whatever it is. Then try and change the subject and redirect them to an activity instead. Most times they will forget about it anyway.
- Break down things into simple steps
- Finally, do not treat them like children.
The National Institutes of Health has an Internet site (www.nihseniorhealth.gov) that, among other useful information, has a downloadable booklet, “Caring for Someone with Alzheimer’s.” Anyone caring for a senior should read this information and use it as a resource, whether Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia is present or just suspected.
One principal area discussed in this information is knowing when the right time has come for the family to turn to outside help. Alzheimer’s is a stress-inducing disease for the family’s caregiver or caregivers, one that grows more difficult to manage as it progresses.
If you are providing home care for a family member who has Alzheimers, or whom you think may be showing signs of the disease, please contact your physician for a professional assessment. TLC HomeCare Services will be glad to assist you in determining your family’s course for in-home care. We have caregivers specifically trained in managing Alzheimer’s and dementia patients, and can provide care as little as 3 hours at a time, up to 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
Call us for a free consultation today! (856) 234-8700