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All Posts in Category: Alzheimers

Best Practices to Help Alzheimer’s Patients Communicate

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As a caregiver, it is important to understand the communication challenges of those afflicted with Alzheimer’s. Communication skills and short term memory are the first to be affected by the disease. Your loved one may began using the same words or phrases repeatedly even when they do not apply to the conversation. They may also invent new words to represent objects they recognize but are no longer able to recollect the correct term. If the person is multilingual, he or she can revert back to their native language. Forgetting names, losing train of thought, and difficulty expressing ideas in a logical order, and a decline in speaking are all common changes.

Despite these various obstacles, there are many ways you can continue to communicate with someone who has Alzheimer’s and prevent further deterioration of communication skills. Being patient and supportive shows your loved one that you care about their needs. Offering comfort and reassurance encourages them to continue speaking even when they are having trouble expressing themselves. You can also offer a guess if they start to get frustrated by the communication barrier. Avoid negativity such as criticism, corrections, and arguments. Instead, focus on listening to decipher meaning. Understand that actions and emotions speak louder than words. The way they are expressing themselves will give you more insight on how they are feeling than the actual words they are saying.

Love and attention are the best medicines for someone with Alzheimer’s. Regardless of their level of communication, take the time to engage in conversation with them regularly. Speak slowly, repeat information when needed, and maintain eye contact. They will be more likely to remember words if they hear them often.

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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Utilizing Appropriate Communication Skills with Alzheimer’s Patients

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Most of us take the ability to communicate for granted: it’s a natural part of everyday life that goes unnoticed until something goes wrong. For those with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers, difficulties communicating are among the most challenging aspects of the disease. Alzheimer’s can have a major impact on a person’s ability to express themselves and interact with others. Losing key verbal communication skills can lead to an overwhelming sense of frustration and isolation. Care providers must work hard to understand the needs and feelings of their loved ones suffering from Alzheimer’s.

Although someone may no longer have the ability to speak or process verbal information, their body language, actions, and facial expressions remain meaningful. For example, someone in pain may wince or gesture toward the area that hurts. Pay keen attention and listen for non-verbal vocalizations in order to understand what they are trying to say. It is equally important to be mindful of your own speech. Use simple, short words and phrases when giving instructions and requests. Explain things one step at a time and go as slow as needed. Reduce distractions by turning off the TV or radio, keeping your hands away from your face while speaking, and focusing your entire attention on your loved one. If they are still unable to understand, try rephrasing what you are saying instead of simply repeating the same statement.

As a care provider, it’s essential to remain flexible to the ways in which you can facilitate conversation as your family member’s communication skills decline. One can quickly become disgruntled when conversing with someone who has difficulty with speaking and comprehending. However, it’s essential to remain calm and patient for the entire interaction. Avoid anger, reprimanding, arguing, and disagreeing. These actions can agitate someone with Alzheimer’s and make it even more difficulty for them to communicate. If you need your loved one to do something differently, avoid telling them “no!” or “stop!” – instead use a positive phrase such as “let’s do this.” Here are a few more gestures to follow when communicating: calm and soothing voice tone, affectionate disposition, friendly facial expression, eye contact, and relaxed posture. Conveying kindness and acceptance will make someone with Alzheimer’s feel more comfortable and encourage them to communicate.

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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Dealing With Aggressive Behaviors in the Late Stages of Alzheimer’s

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When someone you love has Alzheimer’s disease, there are many challenges to contend with. Loss of independence, memory loss, increasing reliance on caregivers, greater difficulty performing everyday tasks, limited mobility, and a change in living circumstances can all be very difficult. In addition to these aspects of Alzheimer’s disease – and often related to them – are behaviors exhibited by patients that can compromise quality of life, and pose challenges for caregivers. Understanding the source of these behaviors and responding to them appropriately can help make the work of caregiving easier, and increase your loved one’s comfort and well-being.

Some of the most common behavioral and cognitive changes associated with Alzheimer’s include aggression, agitation, depression, confusion, suspicion, hallucinations, repetitive behaviors, wandering, and sleep problems. As a caregiver, it’s important to understand that, although you may not be able to pinpoint the exact source of these behaviors, they do have a cause – that has nothing to do with you! In order to provide compassionate care, and avoid burnout, it’s essential to avoid taking behaviors personally. Although it can be very difficult to not take it personally when someone you love lashes out in anger or exhibits suspicion towards you, it’s important to remember that the disease has compromised their rational abilities. Keeping in mind that unpleasant and challenging behaviors originate not with something you have done wrong, but are simply a part of the disease, can help you to remain calm and centered and avoid losing your temper.

When you’re trying to address changes in behavior such as aggression, sleeplessness, or wandering, it’s important to look for underlying clues. While some behaviors have no clear source, much of the time, there is an environmental or physical trigger. Lashing out physically or verbally, for example, can indicate that the person is in pain. An over-stimulating environment with loud noises or unfamiliar people can contribute to agitation; conversely, boredom or a lack of exercise can cause restlessness and wandering. If your loved one is exhibiting challenging behaviors, try creating a more comfortable environment for them, providing opportunities to engage in meaningful activities, or changing your communication style by speaking more slowly and using words and gestures that are easier to understand. Above all, it’s important to remain calm and patient. Don’t try to persuade your loved one of anything or control them: rather, accept that behavioral changes are an inevitable part of Alzheimer’s, and deal with them as they arise.

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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How to Approach Behavioral Changes in Alzheimer’s Late Stages

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When someone you love has Alzheimer’s disease, there are many challenges to contend with. Loss of independence and memory and increasing reliance on caregivers, greater difficulty performing everyday tasks, limited mobility, and a change in living circumstances can all be very difficult. In addition to these aspects of Alzheimer’s disease – and often related to them – are behaviors exhibited by patients that can compromise quality of life, and pose challenges for caregivers. Understanding the source of these behaviors and responding to them appropriately can help make the work of care giving easier, and increase your loved one’s comfort and well-being.

Some of the most common behavioral and cognitive changes associated with Alzheimer’s include aggression, agitation, depression, confusion, suspicion, hallucinations, repetitive behaviors, wandering, and sleep problems. As a caregiver, it’s important to understand that, although you may not be able to pinpoint the exact source of these behaviors, they do have a cause – that has nothing to do with you! In order to provide compassionate care, and avoid burnout, it’s essential to avoid taking behaviors personally. Although it can be very difficult not to take it personally when someone you love lashes out in anger or exhibits suspicion towards you, it’s important to remember that the disease has compromised their rational abilities. Keeping in mind that unpleasant and challenging behaviors originate not with something you have done wrong, but are simply a part of the disease, can help you to remain calm and centered and avoid losing your temper.

When you’re trying to address changes in behavior such as aggression, sleeplessness, or wandering, it’s important to look for underlying clues. While some behaviors have no clear source, much of the time, there is an environmental or physical trigger. Lashing out physically or verbally, for example, can indicate that the person is in pain. An over-stimulating environment with loud noises or unfamiliar people can contribute to agitation; conversely, boredom or a lack of exercise can cause restlessness and wandering. If your loved one is exhibiting challenging behaviors, try creating a more comfortable environment for them, providing opportunities to engage in meaningful activities, or changing your communication style by speaking slower and using words and gestures that are easier to understand. Above all, it’s important to remain calm and patient. Don’t try to persuade your loved one of anything or control them: rather, accept that behavioral changes are an inevitable part of Alzheimer’s, and deal with them as they arise.

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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Alzheimer’s Late Stages & Easing Your Loved One’s Pain

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When someone you love is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, it signals the beginning of a series of major life changes. In the early stages, Alzheimer’s patients may still be able to perform a variety of functions of daily living, such as eating, dressing, bathing, and toileting on their own. As the disease progresses, however, they will increasingly rely on caregivers to help them perform even the most basic tasks. As a caregiver, there are several things you can do to ease this transition and preserve your loved one’s dignity and comfort.

For people with Alzheimer’s, as well as for their caregivers, the loss of independence that accompanies the late stages of the disease is extremely challenging. Activities that were second nature – eating, walking, speaking, and even sitting up unassisted – often become difficult. As a caregiver, you may experience feelings of frustration or helplessness at this point. However, it’s important to remember that, although your loved one may no longer be able to communicate verbally, they can still experience pain, fear, and anxiety, as well as comfort, peace, and love. You can contribute to your loved one’s well-being by focusing on their sensory experience, and doing your best to provide pleasant sensations and alleviate discomfort. This can mean preparing favorite foods, providing gentle massage with fragrant lotions, sitting outside together on a sunny day, playing favorite music, or reading aloud. By focusing on their capacity to experience enjoyment, you can help to preserve your loved one’s dignity and sense of ease. When it comes to assisting them with activities like eating and bathing, take your time and use a gentle, soothing tone of voice. If you are patient and not in a rush, you can help your loved one to take part in their own care – for example, holding a spoon and feeding themselves.

Because many people in the late stages of Alzheimer’s lose their ability to speak, it can be difficult to tell if they are experiencing pain or discomfort. Because even slight illnesses and injuries can quickly take a turn for the worse during the late stages of Alzheimer’s, it’s vital to stay vigilant in observing your loved one’s non-verbal cues. Facial expression and body language – such as grimacing, wincing, or repeatedly touching an area of the body – can serve as clues that your loved one is in pain. Additionally, you can check for changes in appearance, such as skin coloration, rashes, bruises, or swelling, as well as changes in breathing and general affect.

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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