An initial diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease can be overwhelming for patients. Emotional stress compounded with symptoms of cognitive changes, memory loss, and physical deterioration can lead to sadness and depression. Feelings of helplessness, anger, and fear can be self-reinforcing and greatly diminish an Alzheimer’s patient’s quality of life. Losing interest in activities that used to be meaningful, withdrawing socially, and a general attitude of passivity or “giving up” on life are all potential responses to a diagnosis. Caregivers and family members of patients also experience a tremendous amount of stress. While depression is a common aspect of Alzheimer’s, it is not inevitable. There are steps that can be taken by patients and their caregivers to reduce the melancholy associated with the disease.
Sadness and depression can be debilitating for Alzheimer’s patients. It’s important to address these feelings and be proactive in decreasing them. Focusing on activities that provide enjoyment and a sense of meaning is a great way to stave off depression and improve quality of life. Encouraging individuals with Alzheimer’s to take part in things that bring them joy provides a positive distraction and promotes the retention of cognitive abilities. Although the physical and cognitive deterioration caused by Alzheimer’s can drastically alter a person’s personality and compromise their ability to function independently, it does not eliminate a person’s ability to be happy. A comfortable environment, meaningful activities, healthy diet, regular exercise, and an active social network can help relieve depression and improve patients’ quality of life.
It is common for caregivers and family members to experience an adjustment period after an Alzheimer’s diagnosis. Reactions can include denial, over-involvement, anger, guilt, and finally acceptance. It is imperative to take the necessary measures to ensure your mental and physical well-being is stable. After all, a caregiver’s emotional health is one of the most influential factors in a patient’s life; if you are optimistic, your loved one will be as well.
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.