How to get the best support for alzheimer
Alzheimer’s Disease is a neurodegenerative disease that afflicts millions of people around the world, and affects millions more. It is thought to be the leading cause of dementia worldwide. The most well-known symptom of Alzheimer’s is memory loss and/or difficulty remembering things, but over time, other symptoms like mood disorders, disorientation, and aphasia (difficulty with words and language) can present. Perhaps the most frustrating thing about Alzheimer’s is that it is poorly understood, and as such, has no cure.
Millions of people are affected by Alzheimer’s Disease, and not just those suffering from the condition. Alzheimer’s is particularly difficult on the friends and family of those suffering from the disease, as they are forced to watch someone they care about slowly and devastatingly disappear.
There is some hope, however. With each passing year, new research will suggest a new course of treatment for Alzheimer’s. While none are full-on cures, the amount of research into Alzheimer’s and dementia is encouraging, and suggests a cure may be just over the horizon. If you or a loved one is currently suffering from Alzheimer’s, you may be looking to secure the best treatment — which can mean a whole lot of things. Below, you’ll find a few tips to find the best options for Alzheimer’s treatment where you live.
You have varying options depending on how advanced your loved one is in the stages of Alzheimer’s. The best resource you have is their doctor. Their doctor will be able to connect you with local organizations that provide an assortment of elderly care, from nurses in their home, to LVN care (licensed vocational nurse), to transportation services that can drive them from appointments to day programs. If their doctor is unsure of the best local support, the Alzheimer’s Association has an easy-to-navigate website that can connect you to their local chapters. Because this disease affects so many people, the level of support in each community can be incredibly helpful and instrumental to everyone’s well-being.
FINDING A FACILITY
When searching for a facility, it’s important to figure out what your most pressing needs are. This oftentimes requires you to take a hard look at the situation and ask important questions, including some of the following:
— Are the memory issues progressing into dementia?
— Are there self-care and personal maintenance issues?
— Is there disorientation, wandering, or any other issue which could lead to accidents or even a missing person?
Figuring out what kind of care is needed based on how the Alzheimer’s is progressing is likely the best way to go.
There are also many other variables to consider when looking at facilities, including:
— Staff-to-patient ratio
— How non-medical personnel are trained
— Presence of multilingual personnel
— Quality of the facility’s food services
— Proximity to a hospital
— Visiting hours
— Check-out procedures
Moving to a facility can be a scary experience, especially for someone who has Alzheimer’s. Your loved one’s behaviors may change rapidly while they are adjusting to living somewhere else. And, because communication is hard for someone suffering from any degree of Alzheimer’s, it may be difficult to express exactly how they’re feeling. Spending time with them and reassuring them in a calming voice may be what they need. It’s okay to ask the family members of other residents how they like the facility, and it’s also okay to change places if you aren’t satisfied with the quality of the facility you’re currently with.
CAREGIVER RELIEF AND SUPPORT
Alzheimer’s disease is hard on everyone, including friends and family who become caregivers. Caregiver burnout is a huge issue today, but it doesn’t need to be. Finding a local support group can provide essential emotional care to caregivers. The health of caregivers is just as important as the health of loved ones with Alzheimer’s, and if it’s not taken seriously, everyone can end up hurt. Caregiver relief can come in the form of a day program (check out your local Alzheimer’s Association chapter), another in-home support person, or even an online message board.
Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are both scary diagnoses for everyone involved, but no one has to suffer alone. Support is available to those affected, and a multitude of options exist that afford everyone concerned a great level of care and the chance to live a dignified, full life.