November is National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month. We’d like to help you with some tips & information on how to cope in everyday life.
Alzheimer’s Awareness Through Knowledge
Effects of Alzheimer’s
- Vision Changes – While sight itself may not change, the connection between the eyes and the brain is often changed. The perception of what they see and how they see it changes; sometimes even creating blurry vision. Dementia Today provides some insight about vision and perception.
- Fears, Anxiety, Delusions & Paranoia – These are common symptoms of Alzheimer’s. While their fears and delusions may seem unfounded to someone with normal thinking abilities, remember that those with AD don’t have “normal” thought processing. Click here to learn more about common fears, anxiety & paranoia.
- Family Caregivers – Commonly a spouse, adult child or family member ends up being the primary caregiver for someone who has Alzheimer’s. Family caregivers provide an estimated 18.1 billion hours of unpaid caregiving for AD patients.
- Symptoms – While symptoms may differ between people, there are some common symptoms that can help you recognize the early signs of Alzheimer’s. This article by the Alzheimer’s Association talks about 10 Early Signs & Symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.
Alzheimer’s by the Numbers
- Over 5 million American’s are currently living with Alzheimer’s
- 44% of U.S. seniors aged 75-84 have Alzheimer’s
- Alzheimer’s is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States
- 1 in 3 seniors will have Alzheimer’s or some type of dementia at their time of death
- There is a new case of AD every 66 seconds in the United States
The rate of new diagnoses is expected to increase to two-fold (1 every 33 seconds by 2050)
- Approximately 11% of adults aged 65+ have AD (1 in 9)
- The cost of Alzheimer’s Disease & other dementia care in the U.S. is estimated to be approximately $236 billion (health care, long-term care costs & hospice care)
Tips to Bring Alzheimer’s Awareness to Action
One very important part of Alzheimer’s awareness is to gain knowledge so that you can empathize with those who have it. It is much easier to deal with daily tasks in life if you understand as much as possible about the disease.
- Talking to someone with Alzheimer’s – Some tips for speaking to a person who has Alzheimer’s include:
(1) Get your point across in 5 words or less – keep it simple.
(2) Be in a quiet room & remove distractions such as tv, radio, etc.
(3) Ask questions that they can answer a simple “yes” or “no.”
(4) Do not speak to them as if they are a child.
These tips from the Alzheimer’s Association may also help.
- Getting Alzheimer’s patients to use the bathroom & personal hygiene – It is extremely important to create a safe atmosphere in the bathroom. Remind them regularly that the bathroom is available & suggest that they use it. Keep the bathroom door open so that they can see it, as a reminder that it’s there and available.
- Dressing – A common “battle” caregivers have with loved ones who have AD is that they will wear the same thing over and over. Some tips on how to handle this problem include:
(1) Don’t argue with them if they’re staying at home – it’s not that important that they have a different outfit on every day.
(2) Wash the same outfit as often as you can, using nap time and odd sleeping hours to do laundry & put the clothing back in the same spot.
(3) Buy multiples of their favorite clothing if at all possible..
- Eating/Drinking – It can be very difficult to get Alzheimer’s patients to eat and drink. This can cause health issues so it’s important to find ways to get them to eat and drink. Believe it or not things such as the color of their plate can make a difference. Here are some tips from The Alzheimer’s Reading Room.
To sum it up, learning how to cope with the symptoms of dementia can be common and yet very individualized. Having the help of a caregiver is one of the best ways to help you cope with daily life tasks.
How Can Accredited Care Help?
- You deserve some time to yourself and your loved one deserves to have the best quality of life possible as your family deals with the daily life problems that come with Alzheimer’s disease.
- Giving family caregivers time away will help everyone cope better.
- Remember that we offer both in-home caregiving and other in-home services to help
Let us help you care for your loved one and bring Alzheimer’s awareness into your home.
“Alzheimer’s Disease 2016 Facts & Figures” – Booklet by The Alzheimer’s Association, Joseph Gaugler, Ph.D., Bryan James, Ph.D., Tricia Johnson, Ph.D., Ken Scholz, Ph.D., and Jennifer Weuve, M.P.H., Sc.D.
Photo by CJS*64 “Man with a camera”