Caring for Alzheimer’s Patients
Caring for Alzheimer’s Patients
Caring for Alzheimer’s patients can be a really taxing responsibility considering that Alzheimer’s disease profoundly alters the memories and degrades the cognitive functions of patients. Still, it’s a task that poses no healthy alternative other than taking your loved one to a home for Alzheimer’s patients. In this post, we will take a look at caring for Alzheimer’s patients as well as presenting the pros and cons for taking a loved one to a foster home for Alzheimer’s patients.
The first step in caring for Alzheimer’s patients is to understand the nature of the disease. Alzheimer’s disease is a degenerative brain disorder which affects memory formation and cognitive processes. In most cases, Alzheimer’s disease is accompanied by dementia, a condition where patients slowly forget both long term and short term memories manifested by the inability to recognize their loved ones.
These conditions pose a significant challenge to caring for Alzheimer’s patients. The most important challenge is emotional and psychological; how does a family care for a loved one who is slowly losing mental faculties? Pity is an obvious and constant reaction and so is anger towards nothing in particular. This is important because it places significant stress and trauma on the part of the family member that takes care of the patient, one that can leave lasting scars and pain long after the patient has surrendered to the fight against Alzheimer’s.
On the flip side, physically caring for Alzheimer’s patients requires extensive attention to detail. Homes with no means to prevent a patient from wandering around have oftentimes experienced losing a loved one for a certain period because they were left unattended, walked outside and simply forgot how to find their way back. The loss of mental faculties is also coupled by physical challenges which might require the services of a caregiver or a nursing aid.
In many cases, caring for Alzheimer’s patients via a foster home becomes the most viable option although this is likewise fraught with challenges. Family members find it extremely hard to leave a loved one in the hands of “strangers” even if they are medical professionals. Visiting on a regular basis takes considerable time, effort, and may serve as a constant reminder of the trauma. Yet, who can ever afford to not go back and visit their loved one on a daily basis, if possible?
Still, a nursing home has many important benefits. First, these are adequately equipped with the facilities necessary for caring for individuals with Alzheimer’s. There are nursing aids and doctors round the clock to care for the patient. They are well-versed in handling any and all situations relating to the illness. And perhaps an oftentimes neglected benefit is the fact that it takes some of the stress away from family members who would otherwise need to drop everything they are doing to care for an Alzheimer’s patients in a home setting.
However you put it, caring for Alzheimer’s patients is never a pleasant activity, but given the nature of the disease it is something that has to be done. In this regard, it is important to properly weight the options and determine which one benefits the patient and the family best. Do not be afraid to make that tough decision, especially if you are convinced that it is what’s best for everyone. The least that we can do is make life comfortable for the patient, and give family members time to regroup, heal, and accept the circumstances surrounding having a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease.