Focusing on Alzheimers Disease Awareness Month…
Caregiving, especially family caregiving for someone with dementia may be the hardest thing you ever do. It may also be the best.
Living with someone with dementia is not easy. Because the disease affects their brain, it affects how they process information. While many people think of Alzheimer’s disease as memory loss, which it is, it is much more.
Do you know memory loss may also not be the first symptom of Alzheimer’s?
Often the loved ones first notice a change in personality. Irritability, anger, frustration — even withdrawal and depression — can be early signs. If you see changes in personality, it’s a good idea to see a physician.
Maybe it’s not dementia, but some other medical condition. There are diseases that can present with similar findings in the elderly. And it takes an expert examining the patient often with select tests to make a diagnosis.
Often those with dementia including Alzheimer’s disease are able to seem more functional than they are for short periods of time.
When Dorothy first exhibited signs of Alzheimer’s, her daughter Ellen noticed it. When other family members came to visit, Dorothy was able to cover her memory lapses and seemed her usual cheerful self. Ellen wondered if the family thought she was lying.
As soon as the other family left, Dorothy would regress.
Ellen’s experience is not unusual. And can make caregiving doubly frustrating.
Not only are you losing the person you love, but you may be in the position of feeling your concerns are not being taken seriously by others. It can feel like a no-win situation.
So how can you deal with it?
One way is to insist or encourage your loved one to get a medical check up. This may take some time to convince him or her.
Search out information on Alzheimer’s disease. Click here right now for a book on Alzheimer’s caregiving.
You can find helps to get you through situations and your day. Such as…
When you have someone with early dementia, how can you help them in social situations?
You probably want to help them preserve their dignity, yet their unpredictable behavior may make taking them out frustrating.
And if you have a waiter or other worker who doesn’t understand, the situation can quickly deteriorate.
Have you heard about an Alzheimer’s companion card?
They’re business cards explaining your loved one’s diagnosis. Discretely and quietly.
Saving embarrassment, frustration and even a possible shouting match.
I created Alzheimer’s companion cards in my Zazzle store you can customize and order just click here right now.
To your healthy and happy knitting & caregiving,
Ina Gilmore, M.D. (Retired)
“The Knitting Dr.”