Cope When a Loved One Has Alzheimer's Disease
Edited by Debbie, Charmed, Eng, Jonathan
Your Mother or Father has not been acting the same lately. They have been forgetting things more than usual. This has really been frustrating to you, and your parent. You decide to take them to the doctor to get his diagnosis as to what the trouble may be. You then find out that your loved one has the early stages of Alzheimer's Disease. This can make you very sad and angry at the same time, and can be hard to deal with. You will feel frustrated because there is no cure for this disease. Alzheimer's is a gradual destruction of the brain cells. Parts of the brain may literally shrink. The ones that are affected involve memory and thinking ability. Cells in the brain structure involved in the emotions are affected early in the disease, ending in personality changes. Other parts of the brain may be saved till later such as sight and touch as well as the motor cortex, which directs muscular activity. Scientific American explained this is a tragic picture of a person who can walk, talk and eat, but cannot make sense of the world.
This disease lasts from 5 to 10 years, but sometimes more than 20. As it progresses, the sufferers are able to do less and less. They eventually then even fail to identify their loved ones. In the last stages, they cannot speak or feed themselves, and become bedridden. Many victims will die before reaching these final stages. While the beginning of Alzheimer's is physically painless, it causes a great deal of emotional pain. Some do not want to face up to having it, hoping that the problem will go away.
Important decisions will have to be made as to the care you will be giving your loved one. Will you be looking after them in your home? Or will you be moving them into a Facility for care? What are some steps you can take to help you to cope and make things easier?
Steps To Take
- 2Be Understanding.It can be frustrating trying to communicate with a person with Alzheimer's. Remember, this is something that they cannot help, so try to be patient.Advertisement
- 3Give your parent lots of love and tenderness at this difficult time.Your presence provides security, and reassurance for them.
- 4Choose easy words for your loved one.Speak softly to them, but do not treat them like a baby.
- 5Take time for Breaks.It can be very difficult caring for your loved one. Have a family member come over and watch your parent while you relax, or go for a walk or drive.
- 6Support Groups.They can help give you emotional support at this tough time of your life
- 7A thorough medical checkup is imperative before concluding that a person has AD.About 10 to 20 percent of dementia cases result from illnesses that are treatable.
- 8This sufferers cannot be able to tell you this but they would want you give them a whole lot of time and attention.Just being there, talking, laughing, and taking a stroll with them. They may or may not be able to remember who you are, but the warmth and the sincere love and care that you have for them will have a special place in their heart. They will realize that there is someone who gives a damn who they are.Advertisement
- If you have problems with any of these steps, ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.