Forget Me Or Forget-Me-Not: Battling Alzheimer’s With Your Patient

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In the cycle of life, we will all grow old & experience our own “senior moments.” When the time comes, who will be there to help us cross the street? Who will be there to help us bend to our feet?

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From Strangers To Family

When we age, we usually start to feel the signs & symptoms of aging – our hair strands turn gray, our wrinkles deepen, we begin to forget but not to worry though, because all of those are normal.

For people in late adulthood (65 to 85 years old), Erikson explains thatAdd New this is the stage where lots of illnesses start to occur. A lot of our senses start to get rusty, including our essential organs which is why we feel a lot weaker and tired. Since this is a big reality all over the world, a lot of families opt to hire a caregiver for their old parents and relatives.

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Caregiving isn’t easy because regardless if you’re related to your patient or not, it entails lots of time, sacrifice, and patience especially if you’re patient is an older adult. But let’s face it. We may not know how to solve some situations on our own which is why it’s helpful to be more knowledgeable about whatever the disease of your patient is so that we can better take care of them, and they can maintain a better relationship with us.

The Big ‘A’

One of the common features found in the elderly is the decline in intellectual functions such as memory loss. In worst cases, this ordinary memory loss might already lead to Alzheimer’s. What’s that?

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Alzheimer’s disease is one of the well-known and most common disorders concerning one’s neurocognitive development. Worldwide, there are more or less 44 million people who have the illness, such as other forms of dementia. Given the numbers, it’s essential to be alarmed and to be proactive in taking care of our elderly, especially that the said illness does not have any cure.

When It’s There

How do you know when someone’s “ordinary memory loss” may already be considered Alzheimer’s?

  • Constant Forgetfulness – As we all know, forgetting some information is normal, but when it’s too regular, we have to be alarmed already.
  • Unusual Confusion – When someone used to be good at something (cooking, solving problems, etc.) suddenly has a hard time doing it. This instance might also be a symptom of Alzheimer’s.
  • Trouble With Reality – If someone you know starts to get confused with the time, the places you go to, the date, and even spatial recognition factors, this may also be related to symptoms of Alzheimer’s.
  • Abandons Social Life – If ever the person starts to withdraw from a lot of social gatherings, which he or she usually does not do, this may also be a factor of Alzheimer’s.
  • Mood Changes & Unrecognition – As Alzheimer’s worsen, so does the facial recognition of affected elderly. Sometimes when the symptoms are too high already, mood changes also start to happen since they are beginning to lose track of what they know about themselves and their surroundings.

Be Proactive

Though we wish it not to happen to our loved ones, when Alzheimer’s is there, there really won’t be any cure. We have to be proactive to lessen the hardships of our elderly. It may not be curable, but there are ways to help them improve:

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  • Make your patient feel loved. Everything’s confusing for them, so let them know that they’re not alone.
  • Practice routines. They may forget things, but constant practicing will lessen their chances of forgetting things.
  • Be understanding. Don’t get into an argument with them since they’re not in their best self.
  • Make them laugh. Old people love some jokesters, and it will also help them be more comfortable with you.
  • Use some flashcards. If they forget, use pictures to help them remember.

Having Alzheimer’s is a pretty hard situation to be in. That is why as caregivers, we have to be the most understanding so that they know that they’re not battling it alone. Remember that their brain may forget all the details in the world but definitely, their heart never will.