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All Posts in Category: Alzheimers

Gradually Transitioning from Independence to Dependence with Alzheimer’s

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For many people with Alzheimer’s, an eventual loss of independence is inevitable. The effects of the disease, which include memory loss, confusion, difficulty communicating, and emotional disturbances, make it difficult for people suffering from the disease to care for themselves. In-home care or relocating to a residential care facility are often necessary in order to ensure safety and comfort for Alzheimer’s patients as the disease progresses. Loved ones and professional caregivers can help assist those with Alzheimer’s to perform daily tasks. Despite the need for outside help, people with Alzheimer’s can greatly benefit from maintaining a degree of independence, especially in the early stages of the disease.

While family members and caregivers may have the best of intentions when helping patients perform daily tasks, it is possible to create “excess dependency.” It can be difficult to watch someone struggle with a task. This may cause personal frustration and an overwhelming need to intervene – even when the person with Alzheimer’s is capable of performing the task themselves with minimal guidance. Rather than immediately taking control when difficulty arises, caregivers can instead offer gentle encouragement and verbal cues. Breaking up larger jobs into smaller, simple steps can make things much easier for the patient. Activities such as meal preparation, dressing, and bathing can all be modified to accommodate the abilities of the specific Alzheimer’s sufferer. Remaining patient and open as a caregiver allows those with Alzheimer’s to maintain a sense of independence and involvement in their own care.

Remaining active and engaged with daily life is essential to preserving a sense of meaning and self-worth among Alzheimer’s suffers. A sudden transition from complete independence to complete dependency can lead to depression and worsen symptoms of the disease. Promoting independence for as long as possible creates a gradual transition from independent living to dependence on caregivers. Making sure to involve Alzheimer’s patients in daily life to the extent that their condition allows is a healthy way to foster a personal sense of meaning and maintain a good quality of life.

Edison Home Health Care is happy to advise and assist you or any loved one who seek appropriate care of Alzheimer’s disease. Give us a call at 888-311-1142, or fill out a contact form and we will respond shortly.

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Maintaining Independence with Alzheimer’s

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Memory loss, confusion, and difficulties communicating have a major impact on the ability of Alzheimer’s patients to function independently. Depression and feelings of helplessness can develop when there is a complete loss of independence. Maintaining a healthy level of independence and autonomy can promote a sense of meaning and value in the life of Alzheimer’s patients.

It is common for family members and caregivers to assume that someone with Alzheimer’s is incapable of performing even basic activities of daily living without assistance. Observing patients struggle with certain activities can cause anxiety in caregivers, who often feel the need to step in and take complete responsibility for all tasks. Many caregivers may underestimate the patient’s abilities, but people with Alzheimer’s have several capabilities. By being patient and providing support, caregivers can encourage independence and help Alzheimer’s patients to play an active role in their own care.

A proactive approach to the challenges of Alzheimer’s can improve the quality of life for patients. Instead of immediately stepping in when difficulty arises, caregivers can provide gentle verbal directions. Breaking up tasks into easily manageable steps, creating a routine, and allowing sufficient time to do things are all great ways to help patients take part in daily activities. Showing patience and acceptance will provide patients with the confidence and support needed to remain engaged in life.

Edison Home Health Care is happy to advise and assist you or any loved one who seek appropriate care of Alzheimer’s disease. Give us a call at 888-311-1142, or fill out a contact form and we will respond shortly.

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Life Continues After Alzheimer’s

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Alzheimer’s disease brings many challenges for patients and their families. Memory loss, confusion, difficulty communicating, depression, and sleep disturbances are just a few of the effects of the disease. Adjusting to the changes in ability and lifestyle caused by Alzheimer’s can be stressful; however, it is possible to adapt and figure out coping strategies that benefit you and your family.

In the early stages of Alzheimer’s, it can be difficult to accept the changes that are taking place. Many people affected by the disease are worried about the reactions of friends and family. It is common to experience anxiety about losing independence due to Alzheimer’s. To avoid dealing with this frightening reality, some Alzheimer’s sufferers attempt to disguise their symptoms. However, accepting the changes that Alzheimer’s brings is essential to maximizing independence and quality of life.

Even though Alzheimer’s compromises the ability to function with complete independence, there are coping strategies that allow a greater sense of autonomy. In fact, people with Alzheimer’s, especially in the early stages of the disease, can accomplish many tasks on their own. Recognizing their limitations can actually empower Alzheimer’s patients to do more, as they develop ways of coping that take into account their individual needs and challenges. Creating and maintaining a daily routine, identifying the situations that cause stress and anxiety and making a plan to cope with them, allowing plenty of time to complete tasks, and taking a slow, deliberate approach to solving problems are all ways in which people with Alzheimer’s can maintain their independence. Even simple activities like getting dressed, preparing a meal, or corresponding with a friend can provide a sense of accomplishment and meaning. Although it may take longer to complete tasks, it is important to allow Alzheimer’s sufferers the opportunity to take part in activities that let them maintain a sense of independence.

Edison Home Health Care is happy to advise and assist you or any loved one who seek appropriate care of Alzheimer’s disease. Give us a call at 888-311-1142, or fill out a contact form and we will respond shortly.

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Mitigating the Effects of Alzheimer’s Through Drug and Non-Drug Approaches

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There is currently no known treatment, medial or non-medical, that can reverse or cure Alzheimer’s. However, a combination of medications and non-drug approaches can aid in managing symptoms of the disease. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved two drugs to treat Alzheimer’s symptoms, cholinesterase inhibitors and memantine. Although more research needs to be conducted to better understand how the drugs work, they are known for the following attributes: influencing brain chemical messaging systems, being effective on specific Alzheimer’s stages, and being ineffective for Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI).

Cholinesterase inhibitors are utilized in the early stages of Alzheimer’s. They are understood to help prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine – a chemical important for brain functions such as thought, memory, and alertness. The most commonly prescribed cholinesterase inhibitors are Donepezil (Aricept), Galantamine (Razadyne), and Rivastigmine (Exelon). Memantine is prescribed in later stages to help regulate a brain chemical called glutamate, which effects memory and learning. Both drugs can be beneficial in managing symptoms, but they do carry potential risks and side effects. Common side effects include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, headache, confusion, and irritability. Also, these drugs will lose their effectiveness overtime as the disease progresses due to brain cell damage. It is important to have a knowledgeable healthcare provider to prescribe the most effective medications at the proper stages.

In addition to medication, there are several behavioral and environmental practices that can be very helpful for people with Alzheimer’s. Maintaining a consistent routine, a healthy diet, regular exercise, an active social life, and adjusting communication styles are all ways in which you can increase your loved one’s quality of life. A comfortable physical environment free of clutter, loud noises, and visual distractions such as mirrors and televisions will also aid in reducing external confusion. As a caregiver of an Alzheimer’s patient, it’s essential to remain flexible, open-minded, and empathetic as you adjust to the changes and challenges the disease brings.

Edison Home Health Care is happy to advise and assist you or any loved one who seek appropriate care of Alzheimer’s disease. Give us a call at 888-311-1142, or fill out a contact form and we will respond shortly.

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Medical Treatment for Alzheimer’s

medicationThe effects of Alzheimer’s disease bring about radical life changes for patients and their families. Learning to live with the memory loss, confusion, behavioral changes, and emotional disturbances is a difficult process that requires major adjustments. Despite the widespread of the disease, a cure has not been identified. There is, however, a number of treatment options that can help lessen Alzheimer’s symptoms and improve the quality of life for people suffering from the disease.

            Many Alzheimer’s patients receive great benefits from non-drug interventions. Simple changes to the living environment such as reducing clutter, limiting background noise and insuring comfortable temperatures can be very helpful. Unfortunately, not all Alzheimer’s symptoms will respond to these types of interventions. Particularly in the later stages of the disease, certain medications can be taken to manage the effects of the disease.

Among the medications approved by the FDA for Alzheimer’s treatment, a class of drugs called cholinesterase inhibitors are typically advised in the early stages of the disease. These drugs work to slow the progression of symptoms and help to alleviate behavioral issues. For patients in the later stages, drugs like Namenda® (memantine) may aid in retaining independence by allowing them to maintain functionality in certain aspects of daily life. Although some drugs may be helpful in lessening Alzheimer’s symptoms, it’s important to approach these treatments with caution. Medications provide benefits, but also come with potential for side effects. It’s essential to thoroughly discuss any interventions you are considering with a medical professional to determine appropriate dosage and review likely side effects.

Edison Home Health Care is happy to advise and assist you or any loved one who seek appropriate care of Alzheimer’s disease. Give us a call at 888-311-1142, or fill out a contact form and we will respond shortly.

Alzheimer Home Care New York

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