November 4, 2023
People who provide Alzheimer’s care know how essential flexibility, patience, and being able to expect the unexpected are in caring for someone with the disease. Every day is a balancing act of any variety of emotions the person may cycle through: calm, angry, agitated, fearful, giddy, melancholy. As you adjust your care strategy to accommodate the person’s mood, you also need to juggle the management of a host of complicated symptoms: wandering, repetitive behaviors and conversations, memory loss, sundowning.
As difficult as Alzheimer’s care is in and of itself, there are some unique and unexpected factors that impact Alzheimer’s symptoms. In your role as caregiver, you need to be aware of the following potential complications and contact the person’s doctor for advice where applicable:
- Anticholinergic medicines. These medications are used to treat allergies, asthma, muscle spasms, and overactive bladder, as well as insomnia and other problems with sleeping. The chemical they block, however, plays a fundamental role in learning and memory.
- Too much alone time. The familiarity and comfort of home are often best for someone with Alzheimer’s disease, but it’s important to ensure plenty of opportunities for socializing as well.
- Alcohol. Alcohol has an exaggerated impact on any older adult, with one alcoholic beverage being the equivalent of three for a younger adult. It can lead to falls, confusion, disinhibition, and depression, all of which can be extremely dangerous for someone with dementia.
- Sugar overload. A craving for sugar is extremely common in individuals with dementia but can result in increased irritability and aggravation. This is even worse when short-term memory loss causes the person to overindulge, forgetting that they have already had a cookie or two.
- Difficulties with hearing. Untreated age-related hearing loss is linked to a swift decline in memory. Even something as simple and easily treated as buildup of wax in the ears can aggravate the effects of Alzheimer’s.
A fully trained and experienced dementia caregiver from Continuum can assist in a wide range of ways to lessen the effects of Alzheimer’s disease, including:
- Implementing skilled, proven approaches to minimize the negative effects of the disease
- Running errands
- Taking care of light housework and laundry
- Providing support with personal care and hygiene needs
- Providing transportation to medical appointments or fun outings
- Preparing healthy meals and snacks
- Offering friendly companionship for engaging conversations and activities
- And so much more
If you’re providing Alzheimer’s care, we’d love to help. We offer personalized dementia care services for those who are contending with the challenges of Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia. If you’re in St. Louis, Kirkwood, Clayton, Laude, Sunset Hills, Chesterfield, St. Charles, or the nearby areas, learn more about how we can help you avoid factors that impact Alzheimer’s symptoms by contacting us online or at 314-863-9912 to arrange for your complimentary in-home consultation.