As someone caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s, you understand the importance of flexibility, patience, and expecting the unexpected. On any given day, the individual could experience a broad range of feelings: agitated, angry, fearful, sad, giddy, or calm. As you adjust your care approach to accommodate the person’s disposition, you also need to juggle management of a host of challenging Alzheimer’s symptoms: wandering, repetitive behaviors and conversations, memory loss, sundowning.
While Alzheimer’s in and of itself is a taxing disease to manage, there are many factors that can exaggerate the symptoms. While you’re caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s, you need to be cognizant of the following possible complications and contact the person’s health care provider for advice where applicable:
- Difficulties hearing. Quick declines in memory may be connected to untreated age-related hearing loss. Even something as basic and easily treated as wax buildup in the ears can worsen the effects of Alzheimer’s.
- Alcohol. Alcohol has a much more extreme influence on the elderly in general, with one alcoholic beverage being the equivalent of three for a younger person. It contributes to confusion, falls, disinhibition, and depression, all of which can be incredibly dangerous for somebody with dementia.
- Anticholinergic medicines. These medications are used to treat allergies, asthma, muscle spasms, and overactive bladder, as well as problems with sleeping. The chemical they block, however, plays a crucial role in memory and learning.
- Excessive sugar. You may have noticed in caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s that they often crave sugar, which may seem fine on the surface, but sugar can trigger increased irritability and aggravation. This is even more intense when short-term memory loss causes the person to overeat, forgetting that they have already had a cookie or two.
- Isolation. The familiarity and comfort of home are often best for someone with Alzheimer’s disease, but it’s important to ensure plenty of opportunities for socialization as well.
A fully trained and experienced dementia caregiver from Dakota Home Care can assist in a variety of ways to minimize the effects of challenging Alzheimer’s symptoms, including:
- Providing transportation to health care appointments or fun outings
- Running errands
- Taking care of light household chores and laundry
- Offering friendly companionship for engaging conversations and activities
- Providing support with personal care and hygiene needs
- Utilizing skilled, proven strategies to decrease the negative effects of the disease
- Preparing nourishing meals and snacks
- And so much more
We would love to provide personalized care services to someone you love who is contending with the challenges of Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia. If you’re caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s in Bismarck, Lincoln, Mandan, Fargo, or West Fargo, get in touch today! Learn more about how we can help by contacting us online or at (877) 691-0015 to set up your complimentary in-home consultation.