Growing Old With Alzheimer’s Disease

Growing Old With Alzheimer’s Disease

It’s tough to come to terms with forgetting loved ones and losing memories. On top of that, there are unrecognizable sights, sounds, and feelings of the unknown panoramic events unfolding right in front of you. This is the everyday perspective of a person with Alzheimer’s disease.

On a 2021 survey, as many as 6.2 million people (65 and older) have Alzheimer’s disease in the US alone. While 66 percent have caregivers, the remaining percentage cope with the disease alone or with their family.

To date, there are currently no cures for this condition. The progression of the disease is also slow, so it is challenging to realize someone already has the disease.

Getting To Know Alzheimer’s Disease

Among the group of diseases that comprises dementia, Alzheimer’s disease is the most common dementia that affects the brain. Memory loss and cognitive difficulties are some of its early symptoms. Some risk factors are well understood, such as family history and genetics. However, other factors like diet and lifestyle remain under study.

Some people are more susceptible to getting Alzheimer’s disease than others. The risk of developing Alzheimer’s increases as people age. The average age of the onset of symptoms is 65 years old. However, the risk of developing Alzheimer’s increases significantly after age 60.

Symptoms and Diagnosis

Alzheimer’s disease usually starts with mild symptoms, such as mood swings, forgetfulness, or misplacing objects. As the disease progresses, more severe symptoms develop, including problems with language, disorientation, and difficulty performing everyday tasks.

There are two main types of Alzheimer’s disease: early-onset and late-onset Alzheimer’s disease. Early-onset Alzheimer’s usually starts before age 60, while late-onset usually begins after age 60.

Managing Alzheimer’s Disease

Our brain is an essential organ in the body. It controls everything from movement to breathing and is responsible for functions, such as memory and personality. All these functions are affected when a person has Alzheimer’s. 

Here are some of the ways to help your loved ones manage Alzheimer’s:

Keep Things Simple

It is crucial to keep everything simple by asking or saying one thing at a time. Avoid doing activities that may trigger confusion. It doesn’t imply that you should not try and explore new things but rather try to reduce the amount of cognitive load.

Practice Daily Routine

Establishing a daily routine helps them to anticipate what they need to do and when. The routine should be simple and repetitive to make the patients remember easily. In addition, it should be something that they enjoy doing.

Walking can alter the state of patients with Alzheimer’s by improving cognition and sleep quality. Providing them with a safe location and comfortable walking shoes improves their well-being. Ensure to pack a light snack, such as fruit, vegetables, and crackers for them to eat while walking. Make sure they have enough water to stay hydrated. 

Introduce New Hobbies

New hobbies like music, singing, or dancing enhance their condition too. For some, this can help them cope with progressing symptoms.

If the person is agitated, try soothing music to calm them down. If they are restless or need to move, you could use singing or dancing to take their mind off things.

Reassure for Safety

As the person with Alzheimer’s progress, it becomes easier for things to go wrong. One of these risks is fire. You should make sure you take enough preventative measures so that a sudden fire does not start when you are not there to stop it in its tracks. 

Installing a GPS tracker, handrails in critical areas, and home security systems can also give reassurance. While on an emotional level, reassuring them that they are safe and loved can make them feel comfortable around people.

Engage for Help

People with Alzheimer’s may have difficulty communicating, understanding what others say, remembering recent events, or learning new things. But asking for their help makes them realize their purpose. For instance, “Let’s arrange flowers” or “I need help folding the clothes” are engagements that can keep them on track.

Find Support

It is essential to find support in the community that can benefit them in managing the disease. Unfortunately, it can be difficult for people with Alzheimer’s or their caregivers to find and maintain social connections.

If your loved ones need community support, The Buckingham Houston provides independent, assisted living, and memory care. Strategically placed in Houston, known for its name “Tree City USA.” It is surrounded by many parks perfect for seniors’ recreational activities and exercise.

A community provides opportunities for social interaction, education about the condition, emotional support, and practical advice.

Talk About Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s patients need the best care possible, so people must learn about the many different aspects of this disease. An early diagnosis results in easy management.

It can be challenging for household members to keep up with caregiving responsibilities, but their loved ones deserve the best for them. Every case of coping is different, and various options are available too. Discussing and keeping an open mind can provide the best solution.