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Facts about Alzheimer’s

According to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, 50% of seniors develop Alzheimer’s after the age of 85. While all of this may seem very discouraging, the medical field is working to find new and safer ways to prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s.

 

Presently medications have helped to slow down the memory loss of the patient for a period of time. And that same medication has also helped other dementia and stroke patients. Other drugs are being discovered which are hoped to reverse the process, but in the meantime, we need to do what we can with where we are.

If you are a child of an Alzheimer’s parent and you are afraid that you will eventually be diagnosed with the disease, your genetic makeup only increases your chances by a little over 10%.

 

More important than genetics is that you stay active in body and mind. Get involved with friends that investigate social needs, discuss today’s news, become a member of a book club, or Bible study groups. Do crossword puzzles, Sudoku, solitaire, and learn new things like; another language, computer skills, playing the piano, or volunteering to serve in the community.

 

Michelangelo became an architect at 71 and Grandma Moses began painting at 75 and finished 250 paintings in the last year of her life, at 101 years of age. So learning new things at 65 or 75 is not out of the question. A healthy diet, adequate sleep, and sensible exercise have all been beneficial to the aging process and especially to the mental capacity of an individual.

 

Worrying about getting Alzheimer’s will only deprive you of the good years that you have to live without it.

 

And if you are a caregiver for an Alzheimer’s patient, try to be their voice when you see needs that aren’t being filled by a facility.

Alzheimer’s can cause changes in the personality of the patient so that they may become more agitated or more passive. Your patience and understanding is paramount.

 

Because you need to be in control of your emotions and ready to help fill your parent’s needs, don’t try to care for an Alzheimer’s parent out of your home, especially if you find that it is too depressing or irritating to hear sentences repeated over and over again or have to try locating your parent who stepped out of the house and wandered away.

 

Caregivers need to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep each day so they can be refreshed and able to give the love needed to bring a smile to the face of their aging parent. If that requires a nursing home for their care, don’t feel guilty. Just don’t forget your parent.

 

Set aside time each week to give them your time and attention. If you do find that you can take care of your parent out of your home, look into all the helpers and support groups that you can find. In-home nursing care, adult day care centers, and hospice can all make your burden a great deal lighter. Read my book, Inside Mom’s Mind, to discover over 100 ideas on dealing with Alzheimer’s and enjoying the journey and Caregiving 101 that contains over 1000 caregiving facts including 40 pages of helps with memory, assisted living and nursing home ideas.

  

DonnaTrickett.com    © 2011
Offering HOPE to Caregivers of Alzheimer’s patients and the Bereaved