Millions of families across the country are all too familiar with Alzheimer’s. This is a condition that can greatly affect an entire family, as the individuals suffering from it require a lot of care and attention. It is often a condition that causes the tables to turn as children find themselves responsible for providing support for their parents. When your parents have spent many years supporting you and taking care of your needs, it only makes sense that you would return the favor as they battle this unfortunate illness.

content-6

Caring for anyone with Alzheimer’s can be very demanding, but the experience is made much more emotionally challenging and stressful when the afflicted is someone you love dearly. There are strategies that you can follow to make this difficult time a little easier:

Keep Learning – Keep reading and researching as much as you can about Alzheimer’s. Do not stop educating yourself simply because you think you understand the basics. Scientists are learning more and more about this illness everyday, and their results can help you learn how to foresee changes in your loved one, and how best to react to their symptoms.

Patience and Communication – Two of the best ways that you can provide support for someone with Alzheimer’s is to first show patience and understanding, even when you are growing frustrated. Secondly, try your best to find effective ways to communicate with them. As the condition progresses, you will need to explore new ways to reach out to them and help them be understood and understand others.

Don’t Take On Too Much – Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s is a huge responsibility. They will sometimes need constant supervision. If you are spending too much time providing care yourself, you might grow frustrated, stressed, and irritated, and that is not going to be helpful to anyone. If there are not other family members that will pick up the slack, it may be time for professional assistance.

As the individual progresses through the seven stages of Alzheimer’s the need for professional care will most likely become more of a priority.

The Seven Stages of Alzheimer’s

  1. No Impairment – The individual does not show any noticeable signs of cognitive function decline. If they are experiencing any memory problems, they are very minor, in frequent, and do not show cause for concern.
  2. Very Mild Impairment – They become more forgetful. Occasional memory problems occur. They begin forgetting details such as names and dates, or they misplace items.
  3. Mild Decline – Cognitive function decline becomes much more noticeable to close friends and family. The forgetfulness becomes much worse and simple organization tasks become much more difficult.
  4. Moderate Decline – Medical interviews are able to detect the cognitive function problems. The individual has trouble remembering events and personal details and history. Tasks such as remembering to pay bills are forgotten or too challenging. They may begin showing changes in their behavior, such as depression, as they become more aware of their condition.
  5. Moderately Severe Decline – More important pieces of information are lost. They may have trouble remember their own phone number, the names of family members, or their own address. It may no longer be safe for the individual to live alone.
  6. Severe Decline – The short term memory becomes more impaired. Basic activities such as getting dressed or preparing food become too difficult to complete alone. Other symptoms that may appear include: wandering and get lost, fear, paranoia, confusion.
  7. Very Severe Decline – At this stage basic muscle control can become affected. This means a loss in the ability to speak clearly, a loss of coordination, and control over reflexes. They will often need supervision and help with basic hygiene, dressing, eating, and going to the restroom.

 

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask For Help

As you can see, when your loved one reaches the later stages of Alzheimer’s, he or she may require constant supervision. Before these stages are reached, you should have a care plan in place so that you will have the support you need when the time comes.

Allen Health Care can provide you with caregivers that are highly trained and educated, who can provide you with both the physical and emotional support that your family needs. We understand that every Alzheimer’s patient is different, and each individual can react differently and show different symptoms. That is why our staff is trained very thoroughly to react appropriately in many different scenarios and provide the best responsive care possible to each unique patient.

Registered Nurses supervise all of our caregivers closely. The field RN supervisors develop comprehensive medical care plans for each patient, which are then followed closely by our trained caregivers. We are confident that we have assembled a highly skilled and knowledgeable medical care team that can provide excellent compassionate support to you and your loved one through this difficult time.

Dementia can be one of the most confusing and emotionally challenging diagnoses to receive for your loved one. Like Alzheimer’s, Dementia is a condition that can effect memory and cognitive functions in the brain. However, it is a very unpredictable illness, and it affects people in many different ways.

If you have a parent that has Dementia, of course you want to provide support for this person who has given you love and support for your entire life. The problem is that there are no cut and dry symptoms or treatments for people suffering from Dementia, so it can be difficult to know how to best provide care for your loved one.

As you do your best to care for someone with Dementia, remember to always:

Keep Learning – Continue to read and research as much information as you can about Dementia. Do not stop educating yourself simply because you think you understand the basics. Scientists are learning more and more about this illness everyday, and their results can help you learn how to foresee changes in your loved one, and how best to react to their symptoms. While Dementia manifests itself in different ways, learning from other people’s experiences can provide you with helpful solutions and strategies for care.

Patience and Communication – Two of the best ways that you can provide support for someone with Dementia is to first show patience and understanding, even when you are growing frustrated. Secondly, try your best to find effective ways to communicate with them. As the condition progresses, you will need to explore new ways to reach out to them and help them be understood and understand others.

Don’t Take On Too Much – Caring for someone with Dementia is a huge responsibility. In the later stages of the illness, they will most likely need constant supervision. If you are spending too much time providing the care by yourself, you might grow frustrated, stressed, and irritated, and that is not going to be helpful to anyone. If there are not other family members that will pick up the slack, it may be time for professional assistance.

The Stages of Dementia

While each individual’s struggle with Dementia is unique, there are seven basic stages that most every Dementia patient will progress through. Understanding these steps will help you know what to expect in the future, and know when to begin seeking professional help for the care of your loved one.

  1. No Impairment – Memory and cognitive problems are not noticeable.
  2. Very Mild Impairment – Minor memory lapses begin to occur, such as forgetting names, or misplacing objects. These issues are so minor that the individual may not notice a problem, and family members and physicians most likely will not notice.
  3. Mild Decline – The memory problems become noticeable to family members and physicians. Examples of possible symptoms: They begin struggling to remember names and words. It becomes more difficult to plan, organize, or strategize. They begin showing performance issues at work.
  4. Moderate Decline – A physician is able to clearly detect cognitive decline. The patient shows deficiencies in one, or a combination, of the following: the ability to perform simple arithmetic, remember personal history, perform complex organizational tasks. At this point, the individual becomes more aware of the condition, and can become socially withdrawn or depressed.
  5. Moderately Severe Decline – More substantial memory lapses begin to occur. Day to day activities become more challenging or impossible to complete alone. They begin to forget important information such as their telephone number or address. They can usually remember their own name and the names of their spouse and children, but have trouble remember other names.
  6. Severe Decline – Memory issues continue to grow and more behavioral changes occur. They might begin showing trouble with short-term memory and forget very recent events. They will most likely need help with day to day to day activities such as eating, dressing, bathing, and using the restroom. They may wander and become lost and disoriented, paranoid, and suspicious.
  7. Very Severe Decline – At this stage, they may lose control of the control of their muscles and movement. This means trouble speaking, swallowing, walking, and sitting without support. At this stage, they may experience incontinence issues and loss of reflexes.

When Outside Help is a Must

During the later stages of Dementia, your loved one is not only going to need supervision, but he or she may need help with every single task, from brushing their teeth to going to the restroom. While it is noble to try to provide all of this care by yourself, there will come a time when outside professional help is the best solution. Our trained, knowledgeable, and friendly home aides can provide the medical support that the patient needs, and they can also provide much needed emotional support for the entire family.

The Support You Will Receive from Allen Health

Our staff must complete ongoing and extensive training in order to provide you with the highest level of care, and to provide your family with reliable information. Our Certified Home Health Aides not only complete thorough initial training, but they also complete ongoing training in order to stay completely up to date. We know how important it is that our caregivers know the best ways to respond to any symptom and any unique and unpredictable circumstance that can arise when working with an individual suffering from Dementia.

Our experienced Field RN supervisors also constantly supervise the work of the Certified Home Health Aides. These qualified nurses will consult with you and your family members; they will ask pertinent questions in order to create a customized and effective medical care plan for your loved one. This care plan will then be followed, monitored, and modified based on their progress and changing needs. The care of your family member with Dementia is only going to grow more challenging. Do not hesitate to contact us to learn how exactly we can provide the support you need.