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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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Non-Medical Approaches for Alzheimer’s

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While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, there are interventions that can ease symptoms and promote quality of life. Symptoms like confusion, hallucinations, irritability, anxiety, depression, restlessness, and sleep disturbances are all common effects of the disease that may respond to medical treatment. However, because medications often have undesirable side-effects, it is advisable to try non-drug interventions as a first step.

There are many things you can do to help your loved one cope with these changes – without the use of medication. Simple environmental considerations can all help to promote calm and reduce distress including: avoiding background noise, lowering television volume, eliminating clutter, limiting visual distractions, maintaining a comfortable temperature, and providing adequate lighting. Behavioral outbursts often have their origin in physical discomfort: many people with Alzheimer’s lose the ability to communicate issues they are encountering. Looking for and addressing the root causes of disturbing behaviors is vital. Pain and other physical discomfort such as hunger or a full bladder can often trigger behavioral symptoms. By closely observing your loved one, responding to their distress, and anticipating their needs, you can help to ease behavioral symptoms without the need for medication.

In addition to a patient’s environment, entertainment and activity can also be used as treatment. Music therapy is a popular route because familiar songs arouse memories. Animals are s great source of enjoyment. Studies have shown that pets reduce depression related to Alzheimer’s. It is important to consider what kind of pet would be the best match for you loved one based on health condition and average activity level. Other useful practices include aromatherapy, craft projects, and participation in religious services.

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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Knowing When to Get Help

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People suffering from Alzheimer’s must contend with difficult challenges, one of which is adapting to major lifestyle changes. The memory loss and confusion that accompany the disease make it difficult to perform daily tasks. The cognitive and emotional changes that occur as Alzheimer’s progresses can be frightening and cause great distress. Losing the ability to communicate can be extremely frustrating. Many of those in its early stages may try to hide or downplay the extent of their symptoms to others. However, acknowledging that there is a problem and taking early action is the best way to prepare for the future.

Memory loss is one of the earliest and most easily recognizable symptoms of Alzheimer’s. While a certain degree of forgetfulness is normal – misplacing your keys, forgetting a friend’s birthday, being unable to recall certain details of a conversation – more pervasive memory loss is an indication that you may need help. Routinely placing objects in inappropriate places such as putting your keys in the microwave or your wallet in the fridge should raise awareness. Other symptoms include getting lost in familiar surroundings or forgetting the names of close friends and family members can be indications of severe memory loss associated with Alzheimer’s. When these types of symptoms occur, your safety and wellbeing can be compromised. Getting lost, using medications improperly, or failing to maintain good eating and sleeping habits are just a few of the high risks that accompany memory loss.

When memory is severely compromised and daily life tasks become too difficult to perform independently, it’s time to get outside assistance. Although it can be difficult to ask for help, it is essential for your life. Attempting to do more than you are capable of can not only put your health and safety in jeopardy, it can also lead to greater confusion, frustration, and depression. Getting support from caregivers and loved ones can help ease the transition our of full independence and insure that your life is as comfortable as possible.

Edison Home Health Care is happy to provide home health care for you or any loved one. Give us a call at 888-311-1142, or fill out a contact form and we will respond shortly.

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Self-Care as an Alzheimer’s Patient

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An Alzheimer’s diagnosis is life-changing in many ways. Patients will endure memory loss, changes in the ability to communicate, difficulties processing language, emotional and psychological challenges, and physical symptoms. Individuals with Alzheimer’s must adapt to increased difficulty completing everyday tasks and an increase in dependency. Feelings of anger, fear, and helplessness are normal when facing the prospect of a radical shift in your day-to-day experience of the world. With this in mind, it’s essential to be proactive in adapting yourself to the changes you’re experiencing. By preparing yourself for the effects of Alzheimer’s and making a plan for coping with them, you can take charge of your care.

An essential component of dealing with the challenges presented by Alzheimer’s is accepting the changes that will occur. Daily tasks will become harder, and many things that were once second-nature will become difficult and frustrating. Instead of denying your struggles, accept the change in your abilities. Your acknowledgment of change will help you to adapt, create strategies to maintain your independence, and improve the quality of your life. It is not easy to accept that your memory is declining, however, doing so can help you to discover coping techniques that will make life easier.

Memory loss is among the most stressful aspects of Alzheimer’s. Coming up with strategies to help you compensate for difficulty remembering things can be helpful. Using notes to remind yourself of important information, maintaining a predictable daily routine, and arranging objects so that you can remember their location are all ways of staying organized. It’s also important to surround yourself with people you can trust. Although it can be difficult to ask for help, reaching out to close friends and family members is essential for your safety and well-being. When certain tasks become too difficult or if you have trouble remembering crucial information, allowing someone to assist you can dramatically reduce stress and increase your peace of mind.

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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