Anyone who has experience with Alzheimer’s, whether it was your grandmother, grandfather, a spouse, a parent, or even close friends, understands it is not easy to support somebody as they go through the various stages of this disease. Elder care can make a world of difference, but many families assume this is their responsibility.
They just assume this is something they have to do, something that an elderly parent or other loved one expects them to do.
Keep in mind, no one should take this lightly. Even though when a person is first diagnosed they may only be exhibiting relatively minor symptoms, they will become much more significant and tougher to deal with.
What are some of the symptoms a person with Alzheimer’s might exhibit?
Memory loss is the most commonly thought of symptom of Alzheimer’s disease. It’s not the only one, though. Outbursts and even hostility can be something a person exhibits, even somebody who was very calm and rational most of their adult life.
For example, your mother might have been the sweetest person in the world while you were growing up and a great support as you headed off on your own adult life, but as the disease progresses and affects the brain more significantly, she starts saying things you never thought she would do.
Her language could become incredibly foul, which can unnerve even the most hardened individuals. Or maybe she is accusing you of doing things that are pretty far-fetched. She may throw things, yell and scream in a rage, and seem completely out of character.
Remember, this disease affects the brain so yes, people can act completely irrational and out of character as it takes away more of their memory and mental function.
Some of this is rooted in anxiety.
Often, a person dealing with Alzheimer’s or other types of dementia understands, at least in part, what is happening to them, even when they struggle with their memory. Imagine waking up one day and not recognizing your surroundings.
You step out of the bedroom, walk down the hall, and see a total stranger in your kitchen. It might be your son or daughter, somebody you have known all of their life, but in that one moment, you don’t recognize them. Not in the least.
Somewhere in your mind, though, you understand this isn’t normal. You recognize there is a black hole where the memories should be. Imagine just how frustrating, frightening, and aggravating those emotions overwhelming you can be.
That’s often where some of these outbursts originate. While the family may not be equipped with the right level of experience to support somebody with Alzheimer’s, Elder care is.
How can elder care provide the right support?
Experience makes a world of difference and when an elder care provider has supported other seniors with Alzheimer’s or other types of dementia, it can be an incredible buffer and safety net for the family.
Remember to turn to elder care when a loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, even if you think doing this yourself is easy right now. In time, it will most certainly no longer be “easy.”