World Alzheimer’s Month

September is World Alzheimer’s Month and a good time to learn more about what this disease is and how to raise awareness. While having a loved one with dementia gives family a behind-the-scenes look at the effects of Alzheimer’s, others are still not as knowledgeable about the difficulties of living with and caring for someone with severe memory loss. World Alzheimer’s Month is an important occasion to share educational information and show our love to all of those affected.

 

What is Alzheimer’s?

You may find yourself being asked this question or something similar. Alzheimer’s isn’t just normal memory loss that comes with age. It’s the most common type of dementia, a degenerative brain disease that affects thinking functions such as reasoning, understanding, memories, and basic life skills.

Currently, there isn’t a cure for Alzheimer’s or any other form of dementia, and treatment usually assists the individual through daily activities versus working to improve the outcome. We hope that, one day, that through discovered prevention methods and a viable cure, dementia will be extinct. We hope the future is free of this debilitating and distressing disease.

 

What are Some Symptoms of Alzheimer’s?

If Alzheimer’s is a concern for your or your family right now, we recommend you do research, but also talk to a doctor or healthcare professional. Our Avalon staff is additionally on-hand to answer questions or guide you to the proper resources.

While Alzheimer’s can start subtly, then quickly progress, here are some symptoms to consider. Many symptoms are identical to other illnesses, like depression, anxiety, or autoimmune conditions. However, this is a place to start on your family’s health journey:

  • Loss of interest in social connection or activities
  • Mood swings that can be severe
  • Trouble finding the right words
  • Easily forgetting very recent conversations
  • Increased agitation
  • Delusions of someone hurting them
  • Getting lost or wandering
  • Problems going to sleep or sleeping too much
  • Trouble with controlling bodily functions
  • Confusion about people, places, and situations

 

How to Care For Someone with Alzheimer’s 

It’s hard to imagine those who once cared for us now needing extensive care in return. It can also be worrisome and heartbreaking. While frustration is high for both parties, it may help to know some basics in caregiving. 

  • Be patient. It might take your loved one a longer time to do ordinary tasks. Stay calm and give them the leeway they need.
  • Offer them some independence. Let your loved one maintain a sense of self by helping out in simple ways, like folding towels or brushing the dog.
  • Give them choices, but not too many to confuse them. Ask if they prefer lemonade or tea for dinner, or let them pick out their shirt color that day—blue or green?
  • Keep a schedule. Providing routine and a predictable cadence to someone’s day lowers stress levels.
  • Research other ways to care. There are many online resources to guide you through a journey with Alzheimer’s.

 

How to Care For Yourself

Watching a previously vibrant, funny, and active loved one decline with Alzheimer’s is very emotional, which is why it’s also been called a family disease. Everyone is affected. Everyone feels its pain. Everyone needs care.

Whether you’re a full-time caregiver or your loved one has professional assistance, here are some ways to support your own wellness:

  • Talk to a friend or therapist. Sharing your struggles and fears helps to release pent-up feelings that are burdening your heart. It also gives you time away with someone who’ll listen and empathize.
  • Take some time for yourself. It might be hard to take a break, but even 30 minutes to read or watch a funny show will help you mental health. If you have more time, grab a coffee and take a walk. Or spend a day doing a hobby you love, like playing the piano or planting some flowers.
  • Eat nutritious foods and drink enough water. It seems simple, but when we’re busy and stressed, our health suffers. If you’re pressed for time, pack a daily bag with some ready-to-eat baby carrots, protein bars, mixed nuts, pre-made smoothies or energy drinks, and a reusable water bottle. If you aren’t doing it already, check with your doctor about adding a daily multivitamin to your routine.

 

How to Get Involved

We all have the power to raise awareness for Alzheimer’s. The more we talk about it, the more any outdated stigmas will fall away. The more we devote to learning about this unfair diagnosis, the earlier scientists can discover a cure. Avalon encourages both those in our circle and those who have the heart to become more informed to find an outlet to support those living with this disease. 

  • Post about World Alzheimer’s Month on your social media pages.
  • Attend a local fundraising event, like a yogathon, bake sale, or silent auction.
  • Wear red on World Alzheimer’s Day (September 21st).
  • Donate to a reputable foundation that supports memory care and research.
  • Sign up for an Alzheimer’s newsletter or mailing list.
  • Educate yourself about dementia and Alzheimer’s. Read publications, stories, blogs, and books on the subject matter.
  • Chat with a caregiver about how to be there for your loved one who lives with dementia.

The staff at Avalon Memory Care love seniors, and especially have a passion for caring for those with memory delays. If you or a loved one is concerned about Alzheimer’s in your family, please reach out at (972) 713-1383 or (888) 522-1918. We welcome candid conversation and are dedicated to finding the best solution for those you love.

By |2022-09-21T08:37:14-05:00September 21st, 2022|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments