What is Alzheimer’s?

Alzheimer’s is an irreversible, progressive  neurodegenerative disease/ brain disorder that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills and, effects behavior. It is the most common cause of dementia, a general term for memory loss and other cognitive abilities serious enough to interfere with daily life. Alzheimer’s disease accounts for about 60 percent to 80 percent of dementia cases.

 

 

Symptoms of Alzheimer’s

  • Memory loss ( Difficulty remembering new information)
  • Disorientation
  • Mood and behavior changes
  • Hallucinations
  • Paranoia (suspicious behavior towards people including loved ones and caregivers)
  • Difficulty speaking, walking and swallowing

 

Tips on how to live with someone with Alzheimer’s

Caregivers cannot stop Alzheimer’s-related changes in personality and behavior, but they can learn to cope with them. Here are some tips:

  • Keep things simple. Ask or say one thing at a time.
  • Have a daily routine, so the person knows when certain things will happen.
  • Reassure the person that he or she is safe and you are there to help.
  • Focus on his or her feelings rather than words. For example, say, “You seem worried.”
  • Don’t argue or try to reason with the person.
  • Try not to show your frustration or anger. If you get upset, take deep breaths and count to 10. If it’s safe, leave the room for a few minutes.
  • Use humor when you can.
  • Give people who pace a lot a safe place to walk. Provide comfortable, sturdy shoes.
  • Give them light snacks to eat as they walk, so they don’t lose too much weight, and make sure they have enough to drink.
  • Try using music, singing, or dancing to distract the person.
  • Ask for help. For instance, say, “Let’s set the table” or “I need help folding the clothes.”

Talk with the person’s doctor about problems like hitting, biting, depression, or hallucinations. Medications are available to treat some behavioral symptoms.

 

 

Sources:

https://www.alz.org/

https://www.nia.nih.gov/