Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive memory and cognitive impairment caused by a degenerative brain disease. Dementia is a word used to describe a combination of symptoms that negatively disrupt memory. Its specific cause is unclear, and there is no recognized treatment to rely on at the moment.
Alzheimer’s disease-related brain alterations can occasionally result in strange and unpredictable behavior and thinking. For instance, your loved one may grow uneasy in the presence of family members, neighbors, or friends whom they do not recognize or in settings that are out of the ordinary.
Here are some pointers to help you manage the cognitive and behavioral changes that typically accompany Alzheimer’s disease.
If your loved one becomes irritated or violent, try listening to music together, looking at old photographs, reading a book, going for a walk, or engaging in another fun activity.
Talk about “old times,” such as family stories or activities they used to appreciate (sports, hobbies, etc.). Your loved one is more likely to recall incidents from many years ago than current occurrences, so talking about the past can be reassuring and relaxing.
Redirect, Do Not Correct
If your loved one is distressed, do not rebuke or confront them. Also, you should not dispute or make them feel wrong, as doing so can aggravate, anger, or disturb your loved one even more. That said, the best approach is to agree with their statement, shift topics, or pursue a different hobby.
Before speaking with your loved one, turn off loud radios and televisions and ensure you’re in an environment free from unnecessary distractions. Place yourself on the same level as the individual. For example, take a seat if they are seated and maintain eye contact with them.
Find a New Approach
To control a previously unsuccessful habit, you may need to alter your strategy or solution. This is because the brain of an Alzheimer’s patient changes as the illness develops.
When you notice any changes in your loved one’s conduct, consult with the doctor immediately. Is your loved one taking the medications as prescribed (the exact dose, number of times per day, and time of day)? Is there a change in medicine or a change in dosage?
Is your loved one using any OTC medications, herbs, or supplements? These things can have adverse effects or conflict with prescription medicines that your loved one is taking. Some medicines might cause sadness, agitation, sleepiness, or memory problems as side effects.
Adapt the Environment
Modify your loved one’s environment to their ability to decrease confusion and worry and make changes when their abilities deteriorate. If your loved one has a habit of wandering, you might consider locking the doors, particularly at night. You can also consider joining the Alzheimer’s Association’s Safe-Return Program.
Find a Memory Care Community for Your Loved One
Rittenhouse Village At Valparaiso’s memory care program is SHINE® Memory Care, in which we provide long-term care tailored to the specific needs of each dementia patient. This involves assistance with daily living tasks, medical monitoring, and supervised care, among other things.