Alzheimer’s is a general name for diseases characterized by a decrease in memory and a functional decrease in daily abilities. Alzheimer’s is a serious illness that can last for many years, at the end of which the patient becomes completely dependent on the caregiver and needs help around the clock in all basic areas of functioning.
The difficulty begins with the diagnosis, when the family members realize that their loved ones are terminally ill. Dealing with this knowledge can be very difficult. We know that some family members go through a process of mourning and parting from the patient already upon mention of the diagnosis. Later, with the deterioration of the patient’s condition, family members face many difficulties due to the nature of the disease and its accompanying symptoms. Alzhiemer’s care is important, and we will look at the importance of this for anyone facing a difficult period.
The best support
Accordingly, it is of great importance to provide proper and appropriate support to the patient and the family members already upon diagnosis, even if it is in the first stage of the disease. The current sweeping recommendation for the treatment of dementia patients and Alzheimer’s in particular, focuses on different aspects: Medication is appropriate for the patient in order to delay the deterioration as much as possible. Cognitive therapy is also appropriate to the patient’s abilities and condition in order to provide the patient with good treatment.
A support group can help greatly
It is also highly recommended to include the patient in a support group – if possible. It is highly recommended that close family members, and especially the primary caregiver, also join a support group for information on the disease and ways to cope. We now know that raising awareness of the disease, providing knowledge and coping tools in emotional and practical terms to family members, are among the most significant support factors. The support groups meet on a regular basis under the guidance of group facilitators who are well acquainted with the disease in its various aspects. In addition, there is great importance in providing a quality of life for a person with Alzheimer’s, when the goal is to provide appropriate leisure activity, which has pleasure and moments of joy, along with preserving existing functional abilities.
The patient can be allowed any activity that has the potential to create interest and enjoyment, of course depending on their abilities and level of functioning and understanding. Often, it is best to offer the patient an activity based on his or her life history, and focus on areas of interest that have accompanied the patient throughout their life. The disease is often characterized by apathy and lack of initiative, so it is advisable to initiate various activities, in a couple, or as a family and offer the patient to join. Any other activity through community classes or day centers is recommended. Look in your local areas to see what is the best for your relative/friend. There is no need to suffer in silence.
Photo by Georg Arthur Pflueger