It is estimated that as of 2020, there are around 16 million people in the United States who have a diagnosis of dementia, with the most prevalent being Alzheimer’s dementia. That’s a lot of people.
While it is easy to assume that most of these people live in care or nursing homes, the majority are living with relatives in their own homes and are seeking help and support from community establishments. This is because the research into Alzheimer’s dementia has come a long way, and it has been discovered that one of the best ways to help those who have this disorder is to keep them in familiar settings for as long as possible and engage in support in their local community.
So, if you have a loved one who has a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, you may be wondering how best to help them. Read on to find out.
You will need to seek support, and there are many establishments, such as memory care in South St. Louis County MO, that can help you.
These facilities are usually staffed by nurses and doctors who have experience in Alzheimer’s dementia and may be able to suggest day centers where your elderly relative can go and spend time with others who also have the disorder. It’s worth noting that, as the disease progresses, it may be safer and better for your loved one if they move into a supported living facility, where they will have more access to support.
Many people who do not know a lot about Alzheimer’s can find it shocking when they interact with somebody who has the disease. As your loved one begins to show more signs, it is best to educate yourself. This is particularly important as there are four different types of dementia, and each one may present with slightly different features. This will also help you in providing them with the highest level of care if they are still living at home.
It is very easy to become frustrated with people who have a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, especially if you think you have told them the same piece of information multiple times. However, getting angry or frustrated with them will not help them, and you should aim to practice your patience as much as you can. If you are struggling with this, try to seek out support from other community groups and experts on how best to practice your mental resilience when dealing with your loved one.
Engage Them in Activities
If somebody that has Alzheimer’s is kept in a room for hours on end without anything to do, the disease has been shown to progress faster. If your relative is in an assisted living facility, when you go to see them, you should aim to engage them in activities that will stimulate their minds, such as jigsaw puzzles, online puzzles, or even crosswords. You could even make a game out of it for them, which will help them to keep their mind busy.
Take Care of Yourself
It’s important when you are helping a loved one that has dementia to not become overwhelmed yourself, as the last thing you want is to become burned out. Aim to look after yourself as and when you can and get as much support from other family members and friends as possible.