What is Alzheimers' disease?
According to the National Institute of Aging, 'Alzheimer's disease is a brain disorder that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills and, eventually, the ability to carry out the simplest tasks.'
Common Symptoms of Alzheimers'
According to the U.S. Alzheimer's Association, these are some of the most common cognitive symptoms of Alzheimer's disease:
1. Memory loss leading to disruption in daily life
2. Challenges in problem-solving
3. Confusion with place
4. Trouble understanding images
5. Misplacing things frequently
6. Isolation from work or social activities
7. Frequent changes in mood and personality, etc.
How to take care of people with Alzheimers'?
When your near and dear one is suffering from Alzheimers' it becomes extremely important for you to keep track of and take care of them. Here are a few tips by which you can take care of people with Alzheimers'.
1. Understand the disease first
It is important for you to understand and acknowledge the disease. Only then can you help the other person with proper knowledge. Teach your family and yourself about the same.
2. Be Empathetic to them
When your loved one shows cognitive symptoms, it's crucial to remain patient, calm and empathetic. Understand that they cannot help how they think or behave. You can help maintain their dignity and respect during this difficult time.
3. Validate & Acknowledge Their Experiences
Persons with Alzheimer's disease may cause their loved ones to believe they are in a situation that they know is not real. Be present in their reality, validate their experience, and acknowledge their real emotions. Comfort them.
4. Ask for Their Opinion
Make them feel valuable and significant in your life and family. As people get older, they often feel they have lost their significance. Assure them that their opinion and presence matter.
5. Track Symptoms
As you see that symptoms are progressing, it's important to take note of their behaviour and what you observe and report to the doctor. Keeping track of symptoms may also help you identify what triggers a particular symptom and ways to minimize it.
6. In daily life- maintain a schedule for them, involve the person in activities, distract them, limit napping, give simple instructions to them, provide choices, etc.
ARDSI Report on Alzheimers'
A report by the Alzheimer's and Related Disorders Society of India (ARDSI) tells that the number of Indians with Alzheimer's is expected to reach 7.6 million by 2030.
However, India is still not equipped enough to handle the specialized care needs of patients suffering from Alzheimer's. This disease is a complicated health condition that requires a multi-prolonged approach not just by doctors but also by family members or caregivers. Since a person with dementia and Alzheimer's might become agitated for them, even simple tasks become difficult. Be empathetic to them and make them feel comfortable around you.