Uncategorized | September 14, 2018
There are over 5 million people over 65 in the U.S. suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), according to the Alzheimer’s Association. This disease causes devastating memory issues, behavior changes, and cognitive problems that eventually affect the victim’s employment and social relationships. Even basic activities of daily living eventually become a challenge.
People who suffer from Alzheimer’s have chronic health issues just the same as other adults in this country. People with dementia commonly have at least one other illness or condition. Medical problems most commonly seen are heart disease, stroke, diabetes, arthritis, retinal disorders, and chronic skin ulcers. Infections are also common in the elderly.
Managing one’s health care becomes impossible as cognitive problems and memory loss worsen. Alzheimer’s patients can’t comprehend pharmaceutical or nutritional instructions and they don’t recognize that their symptoms are worsening.
When caring for an AD patient, you can make a difference as a watchdog and advocate for the older patient’s safety and nutrition. You can provide adequate exercise and sleep, as well. Here are suggestions:
Keep the living areas safe. Falls are common for any older adult so grab bars secured in the bath area is a great idea. A seat in the shower allows the patient to remain seated safely during a shower.
Offer healthy food. Take care of the elderly AD patient with homemade foods, especially for diabetes, high blood pressure, and cholesterol problems.
Encourage regular exercise. Help the patient stay physically active as long as possible. Depending on the adult, perhaps a stationary bike, exercise balls, or stretch bands can be used. Walking is good for anyone!
Sleep challenges. Sleeping can be a challenge for seniors with Alzheimer’s. Regular waking and sleeping times in a comfortable sleep environment will promote more restful sleep.
Remember that AD patients won’t be able to tell you when something hurts so it’s necessary to watch for nonverbal signs of pain or discomfort. Alzheimer’s patients can’t relate any new symptoms or problems with medications, so you’ll have to keep an eye out.
Consult with the patient’s family or doctor if you think additional help is required. Surround yourself with others who care, too