If you’re the caregiver for someone with Alzheimer’s, then you know how much patience, flexibility, and willingness to expect the unexpected that dementia caregiving takes. On any given day, the person may experience a broad array of emotions: calm, angry, agitated, fearful, giddy, melancholy. As you modify your care strategy to correspond to the person’s demeanor, you also need to juggle management of a host of challenging symptoms: wandering, repetitive behaviors and conversations, memory loss, sundowning.
While living with Alzheimer’s disease is already a challenge, other factors can worsen the symptoms. In your role as caregiver, you need to be familiar with the following potential complications and get in touch with the person’s physician for recommendations where applicable:
An excess of sugar. A craving for sugar is very common in those with dementia, but can trigger increased irritability and agitation. This is even worse when short-term memory loss causes the person to overeat, forgetting that they have already eaten a cookie or two.
Alcohol. Seniors are much more impacted by alcohol, with one alcoholic beverage being the equivalent of three for a younger adult. It contributes to falls, confusion, disinhibition, and depression, all of which can be incredibly dangerous for someone with dementia.
Isolation. The comfort and familiarity of home are often ideal for someone with Alzheimer’s disease, but it’s important to make sure the person has plenty of opportunities for socializing as well.
Challenges with hearing. Untreated age-related hearing loss is connected to a rapid decline in memory. Even something as basic and easily treated as buildup of wax in the ears can intensify the effects of Alzheimer’s.
Anticholinergic medications. These drugs are used to treat allergies, asthma, muscle spasms, and overactive bladder, as well as problems with sleeping. The chemical they block, however, plays a fundamental role in learning and memory.
A fully trained and experienced dementia caregiving professional from Advanced Home Health Care can assist in a variety of ways to minimize the effects of Alzheimer’s disease, such as:
- Providing transportation to doctors’ appointments or fun outings
- Preparing healthy meals and snacks
- Taking care of light housekeeping and laundry
- Implementing skilled, proven strategies to lessen the negative effects of the disease
- Running errands
- Offering friendly companionship for engaging activities and conversations
- Assisting with personal care and hygiene needs
- 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 disease or another type of dementia. Learn more about how we can help in Burlington, Fort Madison, Keokuk, Mt. Pleasant, Mediapolis, and the surrounding areas by contacting us online or calling us at 800.791.7785 to schedule your complimentary in-home consultation.