November is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month and you know that Knowledge is Power! Let us bring the facts and some answers to the forefront.
How Alzheimer’s Awareness Can Make Everyday Life Easier
If you understand what a person with Alzheimer’s is experiencing, you will find it easier to empathize. Understanding that these symptoms are common among those who have AD may help you in knowing that you are not alone.
- Eating – It is very common for those with AD to change their eating habits. Foods they once loved they may now say they dislike and foods they never ate may suddenly seem appealing. Alzheimer’s also affects their ability to understand/comprehend hunger, especially as the disease progresses.
- Fears & Paranoia – Because of the way the brain processes things your loved one may experience unfound fears and paranoia that makes no sense to you. AD affects the brain and the way it processes thoughts.
- Combativeness – Acting out in aggression can be very dangerous for everyone involved. This may happen with anyone and can often be very surprising. Unfortunately it’s something that happens often.
Tips to Battle the Symptoms Listed Above
These resources and ideas will help you when and if your loved one starts to have these common symptoms. Remember that one of the best ways to deal with Alzheimer’s on a daily basis is to find a senior living home that can keep them safe, active, and most of all comfortable. Senior Living Experts can help you find the right fit for your needs.
Help With Eating
A study by Boston University showed that the color of the plate used has a big affect on how well the Alzheimer’s patients ate. White plates seem to literally hide many foods from the view of the person; while brighter plates (in this case red) seemed to make people with AD eat more.
Other options to consider:
- Keep healthy, high protein snacks around for them to eat
- Don’t fight if they want to eat the same thing over & over
- Find better ways to prepare or add to their favorites in order to make them more protein filled & calorie rich if needed (adding protein powders, using drinks such as milk shakes made with real fruit & protein powder, etc.)
- Focus on snacking often as opposed to sitting down to large meal
- Keep meals simple with only 1 or 2 items as opposed to a table with many items on it
Helping Your Loved One with Fears, Paranoia, Delusions & Anxiety
While they may get upset, afraid and fearful for what seems like no real reason to you; remember that these fears and upsetting things are very real to your loved one. They also may begin to show signs of delusion.
- The article Coping With Paranoia & Delusions in Alzheimer’s from Very Well Magazine is very helpful in understanding why your loved one is acting and thinking in certain ways.
- Don’t argue with them if they aren’t remembering correctly. Instead try to change the subject.
- Delusions can begin to occur in the middle to end of the Alzheimer’s stages. The Alzheimer’s Association offers this information regarding delusions and fears.
When They Become Aggressive & Combative
Unfortunately becoming combative is quite common. It is especially important that signs of aggression be addressed immediately, before anyone is hurt.
- One of the best and safest ways to deal with an aggressive AD patient is to place them in an experienced environment that knows how to keep them safe. Senior Living Experts will help you find the place that fits your needs best while helping to keep you loved one as safe as possible.
- Never accept anger and aggressiveness as “okay” because it can cause very real physical danger to not only the person who is caring for the AD patient but also to the patient.
- These tips from the Alzheimer’s Association can be very helpful in how to respond to aggression from your loved one. It also addresses Alzheimer’s awareness as to what may be causing the anger and aggression.
Why Senior Living Experts Can Help
Let’s face it nobody wants to move their loved ones out of their home. However, there comes a time when you have to think about:
- Constant Care
- Regular Medical Attendance
- Quality of Life
While these things may have once been easy to find living at home; once a person has Alzheimer’s disease nothing is the same. Alzheimer’s awareness is one way to help you understand what your loved one is going through and helps you understand that there comes a time when your family is best served by a senior living facility.
Photo by Thomas Leuthard