Alzheimer’s is a physical illness that harms the brain cells, prompting to dementia. Severe memory loss as well as reduced thinking skills and emotional capacity are caused by the decaying of brain cells. Firstly, Dr. Alois Alzheimer (a German psychiatrist and neuropathologist, in 1906) discovered this disease. Dr. Alzheimer saw changes in the brain cells of a died woman due to the peculiar mental illness. She experienced memory loss, speech decay, and erratic behavior. Dr. Alzheimer thoroughly checked her brain upon her death and discovered many abnormal clumps (called amyloid plaques) and tangled bundles of fiber (now called neurofibrillary tangles). Therefore, the conclusion was that plaques and tangles (the result of protein buildup in the brain) are the primary two reasons for Alzheimer’s disease. Another contributing factor is the loss of connections among nerve cells in the brain.
Usually around the age of 65, Alzheimer’s disease starts. This estimation changes naturally. But according to specialists, 5 million Americans have this disease by the time their age gets 65 or older. But there are treatments for this disease of course. Doctors have been infusing the missing chemicals into the brains that help them to receive some signals, as these treatments have turned out to be more unique over time. Alzheimer’s begins bit by bit, eventually interfering with daily routine. Patients, at the end, depends totally on another person and are not able to do even the simplest of work.
What are the difficulties that Alzheimer’s patients are confronting, only patients’ loved ones understand. This article is devoted to those wonderful souls who embrace the full time job of taking a great care of these patients with true love. Following are the 15 things only these loved ones would understand:
1. You know that the person is more than a disease.
May be a father, or mother, or your partner can be your loved one. Despite of the fact that what kind of relationship you are having with that person, one thing u knows is that this person means the world to you. . This is the individual, who at one time adored you and dealt with you simply like you are doing now. This person is who you have known all your life, in fact when they stop working like they used to.
2. You use every process of communication to reach your loved one.
Your loved one has memory loss, no way to express feelings, or may be much more dreadful, your loved one doesn’t memorize you. But it doesn’t mean you quit taking care of him or her. You try every single way to communicate with them. It can be any way like music, reading books, watching TV shows, or talking about routine happenings. Even a simple touch on the arm can be enough to tell them that they are loved.
3. You cannot argue with your loved one.
A patient is left with little reasoning ability with the loss of behavioral abilities. At times, they may react aggressively. You know really well that there is no reason of arguing with your loved one. Instead, more upsetting situations can occur in arguing and would depress both persons. It is better to concur with the things they say.
4. You know your person is not changing, but the disease is.
It is really difficult to see the slow change the person is experiencing right in front of your eyes. All the negative factors like the struggles in language, the lack of communication, the mood changes, and the shift in personality come from the disease. But it is not the patient’s fault. Your loved one is still the same, even though he or she cannot tolerate the situation any longer.
5. You have to be educated about this disease.
I have attempted my best to outline the term Alzheimer’s. But it is actually far more than that. For years, this disease has been studying in research. Having more knowledge about the disease will help you to better acknowledge the person you are taking care of.
6. You must give them independence when possible.
You should give your loved one some independence to manage their own work if he/she is in a more mild stage in order to stay active, they should try to do some activities at least. In these ways, your loved ones can empower their brains to carry messages possibly. Once they go to the moderate to severe stages, then of course, they will gradually stop being able to accomplish such tasks. Until then, urge them to do things such as counting money, keep a diary, or talk about things they are fond of or recall well.
7. You should develop set routines and schedules.
It becomes very difficult for you and your loved one to monitor day by day routine as the disease grows further. Just like nursing a child, you ought to have a set beat with them. Remember, your loved one is just like a child. Your life can be much easier when you keep a daily routine and schedule. This can help to dispose of confusion and frustration for your loved one.
8. You have to continue with good nutrition.
Proper balanced diet should be taken by your loved ones. According to studies, Alzheimer’s can become more worsen if you are lacking a healthy food. It is suggested that a patient cut down on refined sugar and enhanced intake of fruits and vegetables to help better deal with the disease.
9. You should plan time for physical exercise.
Did you ever realize that physical exercise is actually beneficial for your loved one? Just like your body, their bodies need to remain healthy. Despite of what stage they are in (it is better if they begin from an early stage, since the habits will develop as time passes), you can go with them on daily strolls, gardening, or even dancing!
10. You should maintain the current list of medications.
You ought to take your loved one to daily check-ups. The doctors will settle the medication regarding the stage that they are in. The first necessary thing is to write down the list of current medicines. You ought to keep an eye to see that not even a single dose should be missed.
11. You cannot forget that your loved one has emotions too.
Yes, they may don’t recognize you, they may get furious at you, or they may disregard you for days, but still they gave feelings and emotions. How you act and use your words in front of them can actually make a great impact on them. One of my uncles has Alzheimer’s. He cannot recognize anyone including his children! But he look at them with smile sometimes or laugh with them.
12. You have to be realistic in your expectations.
You have to be realistic either it is your expectations for yourself or for your loved ones. This is extremely critical on the grounds that setting reasonable objectives will make you expect the unforeseen. So, when you see your loved one struggling with the disease, you won’t feel disappointed.
13. You should have fun with your loved one!
It doesn’t mean that your loved one cannot have fun if they are suffering from a horrible disease. Plan some trips like a visit to zoo, or to the nearest park, and bring your family members with you as well. Take a lot of photographs, and keep this thing in mind that if your loved one isn’t be able to show emotions, but certainly they still enjoyed your company!
14. You should ALWAYS remember that Alzheimer’s detection is NOT a death sentence!
Alzheimer’s detection is not the end of everything. Really no, Alzheimer’s patients can survive for twenty or more years with the disease. Utilize every single time you have and make the most out of it. Try not to leave a empty space that will leave you with so many regrets.
15. You must love your loved ones as they are now.
Your loved ones will never go back to their old selves so you should not try to change them. You ought to hold onto them as they seem to be, in their present circumstances, with their present practices, their regular emotional episodes, and everything that is identified with them. Or in other way, love them as they are right now!
You should not think that your loved ones are a burden for you, yes they are actually not! There will be adding up to extraordinary encounters for you as you battle to adapt to your new part. You will get agitated and candidly tested now and again, however never forget this is a man who has cherished you in particular. Regard them, cherish them, and live with them.