Dr Bret Wilson
,

Alzheimer Disease, Memory Care, Caretakers

Alzheimer Disease, Memory Care, Caretakers

Dr Bret WilsonStatistics indicate that increasing numbers of families have a relative, friend or spouse who has been affected by the most common form of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease.  Persons diagnosed with the changes of memory, thinking and behavior now has grown to one in eight for people aged 65 and older.   Chances are that we all will be close to someone that is affected by Alzheimer’s.  We can all be better prepared and make better decisions with more information about this disease.

Recognition of the early stage Alzheimer’s or other dementia can help provide intervention at early stages and begin to plan how to provide support and care as the condition progresses.  Initial suspicions may come from increased forgetfulness, inability to complete tasks, inability to recall someone’s name or important dates.  Increased concerns occur when the memory lapses start to impact daily activities, the ability to make plans, withdraw from social interaction or change in personality or demeanor.  At this point the patient is still able to participate in the diagnosis treatment and planning for the future.

As the disease advances there will be need for more care and supervision.   The patient has increased difficulty with completing daily tasks, loses track of what they were doing and cannot remember how to retrace steps.  Personal appearance and hygiene may suffer. Safety of the individual becomes a greater concern. At this stage there is a greater burden on the family to help care for the patient.

Estimates are that 80% of the caregivers to Alzheimer’s patients are family members in the home.   Tasks range from basic housekeeping, personal care, dispensing medication, transportation to medical care, and supervision of activities to maintain safety.  As the disease progresses, different needs arise, requiring modification of care and activities. This creates a huge burden emotionally, physically and financially.  The person you love is slipping away, but their need for your love is more than ever.

There are resources available for family and care givers for Alzheimer’s patients and other forms of disability.  The National Family Caregiver Support Program provides a range of services to help families care for loved ones through the U.S. Administration on Aging.     The National Alliance for Caregiving is a non-profit organization that recognizes the important societal and financial contributions families make toward maintaining the well-being of those they care for, the Alliance’s mission is to be the objective national resource on family caregiving with the goal of improving the quality of life for families and care recipients.  A training program and other resources are available from the Savvy Caretaker, an evidence based intervention program.

As the disease advances or as the situation at home changes; the caregiver at home may start to be overwhelmed.  Assisted living and memory care centers are an option.  There is a variety of options,  levels of care and costs to consider.  Some discussion and planning in the early stages can help families make these decisions easier when the time comes to place the loved one into assisted living.  Discussions can lessen guilt, reduce the burden on caretakers and provide the best care.  The level of disability and the corresponding best level of care can be determined and then modified as circumstances change.

 

Yours in Health,

 

Dr. Bret Wilson
www.drbretwilson.com

Dr Bret Wilson wants you to move, play and live free from neck and back pain.  For more information about chiropractic, posture, exercise, and how to make better choices about your health visit our website www.bellwestchiro.com.  Find a chiropractor in your area to help you with safe and effective health care.

For more information:

Related Article from Dr Wilson:

Ten Warning signs of Alzheimer’s:

Stages of Alzheimer’s and How to Deal with Them: 

Administration on Aging (AoA) National Family Caregiver Support Program: 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save