Alzheimer’s is a neurodegenerative disorder that develops gradually and gets progressively worse over time. It is known to account for over 60% of all cases of dementia. In the advanced stages of the disease, people exhibit loss of bodily functions alongside other symptoms, what finally leads to their death. Unfortunately, there is no cure for this condition though medication may help improve the symptoms and perhaps increase life expectancy to a certain extent.
Ways to support an Alzheimer’s patient:
- Make sure they get the medication they need. Early diagnosis is imperative with this disease. Keep in communication with the patient to make sure medicine is taken properly for all conditions.
- Surround the patient with a community of neighbors, friends, and family that can check on the patient often, likely several times per day.
- A way to keep the patient occupied and engaged with life is to give them a live-in “family” of the four-legged kind. Small dogs or cats are ideal. A pet can give the patient someone to be responsible for that in turn provides friendship, which combats depression.
- Have assistance available for yard work, household maintenance, etc. Paid help is often necessary in caregiving situations. A fine line can be drawn by finding someone who will allow the patient to stay involved in the day-to-day activities in their own life.
- Have legal issues, such as a will, funeral arrangements, and financial responsibility overseen by competent, trusted professionals, such as accountants and lawyers. Update all legal arrangements as needed while patient is able to participate in decisions, and have your own lawyer involved if you are the primary caregiver as a child of an Alzheimer’s patient to ensure everyone is on the same page.
- Install a life-alert style monitoring system that the patient can operate at a touch of a button. The peace of mind a system like this can buy is invaluable in case of falls or other unforeseen events.
Above all respect the patient’s needs, whatever they may be.