Alzheimers disease (AD) is a degenerative disease that mainly affects the elderly. However, there have been cases of early onset Alzheimers disease reported in people between the ages of 30 and 40. This disease is said to be the most common form of dementia.
Alzheimers disease affects the brain of the patient. It starts slowly with simple memory lapses but as the disease progresses, the symptoms become so severe that the person is unable to recognize loved ones and starts to have language problems. Ultimately, the Alzheimers disease sufferer is totally unable to complete even the simplest tasks for themselves. At this point the patient requires full time care from an Alzheimers caregiver.
Alzheimers caregivers are quite often family members of the Alzheimers disease sufferer, though in some situations the caregiver is a hired employee.
An Alzheimers caregiver has a very difficult job. One of the reasons for this is that a caregiver has to deal with a changing situation. The abilities of the person they are taking care of are constantly changing and this makes the job even more difficult. An Azheimers caregiver has to deal with the frustrations of their Alzheimers patient as they grapple with coming to terms with their continuing loss of independence. In many cases they not only have to deal with frustration but also with aggression and agitation.
Studies have shown that the Alzheimers caregiver should attempt to limit the frustrations of both the patient and themselves. It is exceedingly crucial to establish a routine for everyday chores and activities. Bath times and meal times should be set at specific times to avoid confusion. Confusion can make an Alzheimers sufferer even more disagreeable. It is crucial to allow the patient to carry out tasks they can still manage for themselves to allow them to keep a sense of independence. Also, they should be allowed to take as much time as they need to complete these tasks for themselves. If you need to give instructions, keep them as simple as possible.
An Alzheiners caregiver has to be extremely flexible. This is in part due to the fact the patient will have good days and bad days. Flexibility allows one to be able to change their routine as and when the need arises.
Studies have shown that Alzheimers caregivers are at a higher risk of suffering from depression. They therefore need love and support from other members of the family whenever possible. It may be a good idea for an Alzheimers caregiver to join a support group for helpful coping tips and support from other caregivers that are in the same situation. Support groups can be found in local communities or even online.