Someone you love and care about has just received the diagnosis Alzheimer's Disease – what now? The next steps can be emotional and overwhelming, especially if you're not sure what it takes to care for someone with Alzheimer's.
There is no single, absolutely safe guide to Alzheimer's treatment because the disease varies and changes depending on the condition. "The progression of each patient through this disease has its own pace, pace, and rhythm," says Verna R. Porter, neurologist and director of the Alzheimer's Program at Providence Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica, California , versus SELF ̵
To provide the best care for someone with Alzheimer's disease, you need to be proactive, patient and flexible as the disease progresses. Here are some tips that are supported by experts to help you set up a comprehensive care plan for your loved ones and to steer the process for the long term.
. 1 Familiarize yourself with the onset and progression of Alzheimer's disease.
This may be obvious, but you can not help a person with Alzheimer's disease navigate their lives unless they know exactly how the disease affects a person and what treatment and management involves. Dr. Porter says this really is the first step for a caregiver.
If you are not sure where to begin, good sources are the Alzheimer's Disease Education and Referral Center (ADEAR) the . Alzheimer's Association and the Alzheimer's Foundation of America (AFA) . Porter suggests
Talk to or Reading Online Perspectives of Other Persons . Taking care of someone with Alzheimer's disease can also help you see the disease from new perspectives and prepare for the more surprising aspects of the treatment.
. 2 Evaluate your support system and find out how it can be upgraded.
Your support system is also your support system, Meryl Comer, founder of the non-profit organization WomenAgainstAlzheimer's tells SELF. You will not be able to be there every day. There are things you need extra help with and a contingency plan, explains Comer, who has spent 22 years at her house for her husband (who had Alzheimer's (19459024) early in 19459004) and her mother. 19659010] "Everyone and especially a caregiver needs a break," says Dr. Porter. Here, there is maternity care: Respite Care is simply someone who comes in to take care of the caregivers and give their caregivers some of their responsibilities for a while, while the person with Alzheimer's stays in a supervised environment Alzheimer's Association explains.
Caring for aftercare can be home visits from friends or other family members, or volunteer or paid services. You can also search for adult day care centers in your area where your family members may be with other people with Alzheimer's for a short time or in a social setting, or even for one night or a longer stay, depending on the care center's services.
Connect with trusted friends and family members who live close to the loved one with Alzheimer's to discuss whether they are willing to be involved in the ongoing care of the individual. It is not a one-person job, so it is important to get in touch as soon as possible to let people know that their help is needed and is highly appreciated.
Some families also need to find ways to care for long distances, Comer points out. "It could mean one of your sisters flies for a while to take care of Mama, and then your brother goes down next," she explains. These arrangements require patience and tough conversation to develop a system that protects relatives with the disease, but also the mental and physical well-being of all involved, she says. "They do not want to wait for a crisis and have to hurry to find a solution."
. 3 Decide if you will care for your loved one in your own home or not.
In the early stages In some stages of Alzheimer's disease, it may be that a person is in order to be in their own home with proper supervision and support, especially if they are with another partner (such as a partner or a partner) Living alone, "identify someone who can visit regularly and who is an emergency contact and health care advocate," says Dr. Porter.
You should conduct a thorough check on the safety of your home to make sure your home is set up To reduce the risk of injury or confusion and suffering for the person with Alzheimer's, for example, this may lower the ringer volume, to avoid astonishment, to place emergency numbers in a visible location and to place a spare key somewhere you can access it if you disable it The National Institute for Aging recommends and recommends unused outlets.
You may want to do a social work counseling to complete a comprehensive home safety assessment and assessment. (Medicare can cover the cost of these types of services.) Also, "Consider the need for a wristband for medical alerts or a potential safe return program," says Dr. Porter.
. 4 If you can not take care of them at home, look for other care services – and examine them.
In advanced stages of the disease, unattended life is unlikely to be possible. "In daily life, most patients with developing dementia syndrome require oversight of the instrumental activities of daily life," notes Porter.
This includes everything from preparing meals and washing to taking medication and taking medication. You go to the bathroom and take a bath. If you or someone you trust can not be around the clock to do your daily chores, you may have to think of an adult home or a home assistant. (Incontinence and behavior that endangers themselves or others is evidence that a full-time worker is needed, explains Comer.)
"Families often worry about the reliability of the assistant or the service." Porter says. "Those who work for an agency or institution should be reliable, well-educated and often certified, licensed and insured." Ask each individual and each institution for training and qualifications. "When you hire someone for help, you interview the person thoroughly and check their references and backgrounds," Dr. Porter.
It's also worth asking about the personal relationship of patient to caregiver, says Comer. "The best is three to one," she says, meaning that three patients are assigned to a caregiver. If you only have physical or financial access to a facility where a large number of patients are assigned to a janitor, you may want to check the facility and care by unexpected occurrence, she suggests.
The costs of home care and assisted living facilities can be quite expensive and are usually uninsured. So you may need to create a schedule in which you and / or other trusted friends or family members travel days and close the gaps with external care when needed to keep costs down.
. 5 Get your medical team together and determine what the ongoing medical care will look like.
"Diagnosing Alzheimer's disease involves the use of medications, planned and consistent visits to a doctor – ideally a dedicated memory specialist – and frequent revaluations of medical, physical, and psychosocial needs," explains Dr. Porter.
Someone with Alzheimer's may
- A A physician working with older adults
- A geriatric psychiatrist or psychologist focusing on mental and emotional issues of older adults specializes in memory and mental problems and / or the mental health needs of older people and their families
- A Neurologist a physician focused on abnormalities of the brain and central nervous system, performing profound neurological assessments and providing specifics Can Certain D diagnosis of cognitive disorders
- A Neuropsychologist who can perform memory and mental tests to determine the specific disabilities of a person and to have their possible impact on daily functioning
You may not have to work at all These medical providers may be helpful, but it may be helpful to have a few expert names that you can use to work from different areas as the person's condition shifts or progresses.
The patient's family doctor can often do this. Porter says you transfer the right sub-specialists who need them to monitor care and treatment. She adds that university campuses often have Alzheimer's research centers where specialist teams are available for the appropriate diagnosis and subsequent treatment of Alzheimer's patients.
People diagnosed with Alzheimer's should be seen by their doctors at least once a year. Dr. Porter says, ideally every six months. "Depending on specific concerns and issues that may arise, they will need to visit more and more sub-specialists more frequently and more consistently," she says.
. 6 Track their symptoms and behaviors over time.
There are many potential symptoms in which Alzheimer's patients can occur at various stages, and the symptoms also vary from person to person. Monitoring behavioral changes over time and recording notes and records with these details can therefore be very useful information for their health care providers as they help tailor care and treatment. "This is also important information that needs to be shared with relatives who are unable to observe behavioral changes themselves," says Comer. "All caregivers should be on the same page."
For example, if your loved one gradually forgets more words or places or has increasingly inferior judgment, these would be things to document and bring to the caretaker's medical attendant Person.
. 7 Honor your independence and identity as long as you can.
"When it comes to caring, keeping your dignity and independence as long as possible is your top priority," says Comer. Instead of interfering and taking on all the tasks and responsibilities that can confuse or upset the person with Alzheimer's, "think about it rather than be disturbed for it," she says.
For example: "You might pack an extra piece of clothing if you're going to a dinner party in an accident, or make sure you're sitting at the table next to someone who knows the situation and is sensitive to it." explains Comer. "They do not want to stop them from living their lives and engaging socially, they just want to plan ahead and anticipate potential problems."
They also want to pursue their hobbies and passions as much as possible. which helps to preserve their identity. Maybe that means playing tennis and golf with them to ensure hand-eye coordination, Comer explains. For example, her husband used to be a long-distance runner, and she used to "run her husband six miles a day to calm him down." Consider working with an expert and helping to put together a care plan that is meaningful to your loved ones.
If you feel lost or overwhelmed, it may be beneficial to consult a social worker or geriatric nurse (z Porter.
And do not forget to have a care plan for yourself. "You need your sanity Obtain, continue training and eat well, sleep enough, "says Comer." Taking care of Alzheimer's is a year-long path, and you can not do it and do it well without paying attention to yourself. "