Alzheimer’s is a progressive brain disease that affects daily tasks which range from mild to severe case. It decline thinking skills and ability to function independently. Just like the rest of our bodies, our brains change as we age. Most of us eventually notice some slowed thinking and occasional problems with remembering certain things. However, serious memory loss, confusion and other major changes in the way our minds work may be a sign that the brain cells are failing. During this period, the aged needs special care and attention to manage all the symptoms related to Alzheimer’s.
What is Alzheimer’s?
Alzheimer’s is a form of dementia which is the loss of memory common to ages 65 and above. It is a degenerative disease of the brain, irreversible, that causes memory loss and cognitive decline. Also, it interferes with thinking, memory, speech and behaviour. It usually starts slowly, progresses and gets worsen. It is a progressive brain disease and affects daily tasks which range from mild to severe case.
The cause of Alzheimer is not fully defined but it is caused by the abnormal buildup of proteins in the brain forming plaques and tangles. Thus affecting the brain cells and reduction in chemical messengers known as neurotransmitter which are involved in sending signals between cells. However, apart from ageing, there are other factors which when presence can cause this disease; heredity, head injury, environment, untreated depression, life style such as sedentary life style, smoking and so on.
Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease
- Change in communication
Communication is difficult for people with Alzheimer’s disease because they have trouble remembering things. They often struggle to find words or forget what they want to say. You may feel impatient and wish they could just say what they want which they cannot.
Also, they may not understand statement accurately; have difficulty in paying attention, sensitive to noise, touch, and wrong use of languages.
- Gets upset and agitated
- Feel irritable
- Wandering around or keeping to self
- Depressed and not showing interest in their environment.
Note: Alzheimer’s Care Giver
Being a caregiver is challenging, however, it can be all consuming as loved ones cognitive and functional abilities reduce with time. As the diseases advance, their needs increases as well as the care givers responsibility. So make sure you take time to know the condition, the signs likely to be exhibited and assess their needs. Sometimes, the ways they show love and appreciation for all care and support shown to them reduces which makes it seem like a thankless task.
Guides to Proper Care for Victims
Communication care for the aged is very important for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease
- Make eye contact with them while communicating to them.
- Show warm and loving manners, be flexible and do not shout or neglect them.
- Help pronounce words when they find it difficult
- Make instruction simple and one at a time.
- Medical checkup and involvement of speech therapy.
Cognitive and psychological care
- Patient, observant and understand the signs he /she can exhibit.
- When frustrated about not remembering things use other method such as smile and gentle touch
- Boost their self-esteem by involving them in task, play fun, games, and discussions.
- Avoid correcting them often when they make mistakes or forget things
- Focus on the feelings and do not try to argue with him or her
- Invites old friends and families if needed.
Make aged with Alzheimer’s care and activities as routine so as to know time for each.
- Help in grooming, bath, brushing teeth , make hair clean and neat, They may feel agitated and angry for not being able to do self-care, reassure them; let them feel your presence.
- Avoid too much noise to prevent confusion and anger.
- Sometimes, they forget name of food, forget to eat or drink, ways of eating particular food, lose interest in eating or lose appetite
- Provide balanced variety of meal with different colour. Offer them vegetables , fruits, less sugar and fats.
- Tell them name of food and show how to eat.
- Give opportunity to make choice of food
- Give small meals frequent times
- Do not put pressure on them to eat or to rush meal.
In conclusion, sign and severity of Alzheimer’s varies and differ from individual. Care can be long, stressful and tasking. Caregiver should understand what the disease condition is and look out for necessary care needed as well as seek for support. However Routine medical checkup should be adopted