Alzheimer’s disease is a condition that causes the brain cells to die, leading to the brain working differently over time. As a result, it has a profound effect on the way in which a person both thinks and acts. In general, Alzheimer’s disease affects older people, however, it can be developed at any time during life. If you are currently caring for an older relative who has been diagnosed with this condition, then it’s likely that you’ll notice some changes in the way that they are around you and others. Here’s how you can best help and support a relative who is living with this condition.
Understand the Symptoms
Whilst not everybody with Alzheimer’s disease will display the same symptoms, it’s good to know which are the most common, so that you can understand why your relative is acting a certain way. Common symptoms and signs of Alzheimer’s disease include a lack of interest in things that the individual used to enjoy, confusion and misunderstanding, becoming worried, angry, or upset more easily than usual, imagining things that aren’t there, hiding things from others more often or believing that others are hiding things from them, wandering away from home, pacing, unusual sexual behaviour, or in some cases physical violence. A knowledge of these symptoms can help you to better understand your loved one and determine the best type of support to offer them.
People who suffer with Alzheimer’s disease can often become more worried when their symptoms start to intensify, causing a vicious circle of worrying and stress. As a relative, you can be there to provide them with distractions, such as music, singing, or even dancing to distract them and help them burn off some energy and have a little bit of fun. For elderly relatives, it may be worth looking into retirement villages for sale to provide them with a place to live with other people similar to their own age, along with on-site support when needed.
Keep Things Simple
When you are caring for an elderly loved one with Alzheimer’s, it’s important to bear in mind that too much information could quickly confuse them and bring on an onset of symptoms. Because of this, it’s crucial that you try and keep things as simple as possible for them. Try and get them into a good daily routine, so that they will know when and where different things are going to happen. Surprises are usually not the best of ideas when it comes to a person who is suffering with this condition. If you are asking questions, try and be as clear as possible about what you are asking, and make sure to only ask one question at time so that they are easily able to process the information.
Look After Physical Health
Those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease can often begin to neglect their physical health; it’s not uncommon for people with this condition to forget to do simple things such as bathe themselves or eat enough food each day. Be there for your family member by encouraging them to exercise regularly, providing them with healthy and balanced meals, and taking care of their personal hygiene.