June is Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month, and Heartland PCA is making an effort to help educate people about the disease and its effects. Many of us have experienced a friend or family member who suffers from Alzheimer’s, so it is important to understand exactly what Alzheimer’s is and what we can do help.
Alzheimer’s Disease occurs when brain cells and cell connections degenerate and die, eventually destroying memory and other mental functions. Some symptoms of Alzheimer’s include memory loss, difficulty completing familiar tasks, confusion with time or place, and mood swings. Over 3 million Americans are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s every year, making it the sixth most common disease in the United States. Today, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s Disease, but certain medications can improve mental functions and balance mood swings. There are other management strategies that can maintain quality of life and maximize function of daily activities.
It’s hard when someone you love is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, but there are steps you can take to care for them to ensure they live as similarly as possible to their everyday life before the disease. Those suffering from Alzheimer’s often become frustrated when they can’t live a similar lifestyle as they were accustomed to, so do your best to reduce these frustrations. Ways to help include providing simple and clear instructions, scheduling wisely to avoid confusion throughout the day, and reducing distractions during conversations and mealtimes so it is easier for the person with Alzheimer’s to focus. Allow your loved one to do as much as possible with a minimum amount of assistance, so they don’t feel completely dependent. Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s is possible, but it takes patience and flexibility.
We understand that sometimes, caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s can be too much at times, so Heartland PCA offers services which care for individuals in the comfort of their own home. If you or someone you know would benefit from these services, feel free to contact us!Contact Heartland PCA