Recent studies have shown 1 in every 27 people in India is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
Alzheimer’s disease is a part of dementia, a neurological disorder characterized by impairment of at least two brain functions, commonly memory loss and judgement ability.
Common symptoms include cognitive symptoms like forgetfulness, confusion , disorientation. Behavioral symptoms like irritability, restlessness and getting lost. Psychological symptoms like hallucinations, depression, anxiety and mood swings.
Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia , where in thinking, memory and behaviour of the patient is affected.
In simpler terms, symptoms like forgetfulness, confusion, getting lost and anxiety are seen in the patient. These symptoms get worse and more interfering with day to day lives of the patient.
That being said, forgetfulness as a symptom can be very risky, patients tend to forget basic safety precautions like switching off gas knobs, forgetting ones own identity address can be fatal.
Given below is a checklist for caregiver of patients with Alzheimer’s disease:
1. Safety Precautions: In simpler terms, baby proof the home. Make sure fire guidelines are met, remove mess and clutter, keep the hazardous objects and drugs away. Avoid leaving them alone.
2. Learn: It is crucial you learn about your patients AD’s stage and prepare a care routine under the guidance of professionals. Keep yourself updated to get more insights on the subject.
3. Mental Stimulation: Setting reminders, scheduling, planning activities, promoting ongoing conversations ,giving a sense of independence to the patient will keep their neurons active and will boost their self esteem.
4. Healthy Diet: Consuming foods that support neurological development will be surely slow down the degeneration of neurons. Adding nuts, green leafy vegetables, berries, fruits in diet is recommended.
5. Animal Therapy: Researches have shown, animal therapy helps patients give sense of independence, promote happy hormones and emotional support. Pet therapy is not only supportive for the patient but is also a stress buster for the caregivers.
Make sure the caregivers are taking care of themselves. There is no doubt managing someone with Alzheimer’s disease is highly stressful and exhausting. It is vital care giver maintain good physical health, set boundaries and keep your emotional and mental health in check.
Alzheimer’s disease cannot be reversed or cured. But caring in the right way with regularity and persistence can slow down the worsening of the symptoms.