How to Cope When a Family Member is Diagnosed with Alzheimer’s
When a loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease, it can be hard to know what to say and what to do. There’s nothing that can take the pain of such a diagnosis away, but you do need to know what to do next. There are lots of things to plan and think about; this guide should help you.
What to Expect
Alzheimer’s Disease is such an unpredictable disease, and the situation is different for every person and every family. People react to the disease differently, and the disease can cause all kinds of symptoms in those suffering from it. There are some things that are most common though.
You will probably start to notice that your relative becomes more forgetful. This is the main symptom of Alzheimer’s Disease. It will start with small things at first, but it will become more severe over time. This can be incredibly difficult to come to terms with. There will be other symptoms like strange behaviors. This can be frustrating and hard to deal with, so you’ll need good health care and support.
How to Provide the Best Care
It’s hard to know how to care for someone for Alzheimer’s, it’s a hard job and you shouldn’t try to do it by yourself. There are simple things you can do at home to keep them in as good a shape as possible though. For example, you can make sure they eat healthily and stay active by going for walks.
You should provide a care provider from somewhere like Bria Health Services, which have specialist Alzheimer’s treatment programs. It’s a complex disease, so you’re going to need as much professional medical support as possible. And when the disease advances further, you’ll have to think about residential treatments.
How to Maintain Relationships
One of the things you should be aware of when a loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s is that your relationship will change dramatically over time. As you know, their memory will slowly get worse as the disease progresses. This will eventually mean that they don’t recognize you.
This is incredibly difficult to come to terms with. You will probably go through a grieving process before the person has even passed away. This may sound strange, but it’s completely normal. The person you knew is slipping away, and it can seem like they’ve gone before the person actually dies.
Don’t Forget to Look After Yourself Too
Looking after someone with Alzheimer’s Disease is incredibly hard work. You can find yourself acting as their full-time carer, and this can take its toll on you in the long-term. You should remember to look after yourself too, not just your loved one. You shouldn’t feel guilty for taking care of yourself.
There are lots of organizations and groups that can help carers. It’s a good idea to join these groups and meet people who are going through the same things as you and understand what it’s like. You should have a break from caring at least once a week and do something you like.
Alzheimer’s is a very difficult disease to deal with, so make sure you’re prepared well and get the help you need.