There are more than 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s. It is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States alone. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 1 in 3 seniors die from Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. As caregivers, it is important to learn how to care for someone with dementia and the signs and symptoms to look out for.
Signs and Symptoms
Some of the signs and symptoms to look out for with someone with Alzheimer’s are the following:
- Memory loss that disrupts a person’s daily life such as asking the same questions repeatedly.
- Showing challenges in problem solving and planning such as keeping track of their monthly bills.
- Having difficulty completing familiar tasks like driving to a familiar location or following rules of a game.
- Showing confusion with time or place such as losing track of dates and passage of time.
- Having trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships.
- Having trouble with words in both speaking and/or writing.
- Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace their steps.
- Having poor judgment in decision making.
- Showing withdrawal from work or social activities.
- Experiencing mood or personality changes such as becoming confused, suspicious, depressed, fearful, or anxious.
Caring for Someone with Alzheimer’s or Dementia
Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s or Dementia takes a lot of patience and flexibility. Many people who have Alzheimer’s receive daily assistance from family members or professional caregivers. To help limit challenges and ease frustration with those with dementia consider the following:
- Establishing a daily routine, they can follow such as bathing and regular medical appointments.
- Take your time when dealing with them and plan such as allowing break times during tasks to ease frustrations.
- Try and involve those with Alzheimer’s and Dementia to do as much as possible with little assistance such as placing visual cues to help them set the table or lay out clothes for them to put on themselves.
- Limit the amount of choices you give them, so they do not have to feel so overwhelmed.
- Limit the amount of nap times to avoid them confusing their days and nights.
- Be flexible with your time and adapt to their needs
- Create a safe environment in the home by avoiding clutter to help prevent falls. Also consider locking up any potentially dangerous items such as medicine, alcohol, guns, and toxic chemicals.