My personal recommendations for you as a relative
The diagnosis of Alzheimer's or another form of dementia is not only a stroke of fate for those affected. Also, and especially for the close relatives often changes the whole life.
A loved one is not only sick - he is changing, slowly but unstoppably, becoming more and more frisky, often moody and unpredictable, and then someday really in need of care.
That's hard, very difficult. Sad, when a close person falls ill, you are always. But with progressive dementia is added that the burden in everyday life is increasingly increasing and - which is often the worst - that at the same time loses more and more the relationship with his loved one.
To see how one's own father or one's own mother increasingly degrades mentally, then at some point even with simple everyday activities no longer cope and in the end not even recognize his children, is terrible. And even if the period in which this happens, can be very different: In most cases, this course is only very limited to stop, at least not yet.
It is all the more important to come to terms with the situation. To be strong, to be helpful, to be prepared and, difficult as it may sound, to make the most of it. The following tips and suggestions should help you with this. Of course, they are not complete and they are far from covering countless questions and problems. But maybe they are a little help.
I consider these 10 tips especially important:
- 1. Be compliant and patient. Stay loving. It sounds so obvious, but in everyday life it can be very difficult. Because people with progressive dementia are no longer listening properly, constantly doing things wrong, endangering themselves and others - and so unintentionally making sure that the lives of their loved ones are becoming increasingly difficult. Being always affectionate and not even complaining or correcting is anything but easy. But it's important because affection is what's the longest and deepest to the sufferer. This will not work out all the time, but please remember: warmth and security are the most important things for the patient.
- 2. Get trained early. Almost all cities now have courses on dealing with people with dementia. They can be very helpful because you are prepared for typical situations and problems and learn to respond better.More information about training can be found here.
- 3. Make sure that despite the dementia contacts to relatives and friends be maintained as long as possible. It is known,that loneliness and social withdrawal promotes the onset of Alzheimer's disease, Just as harmful is contact poverty but also after the onset of the disease. But of course everything with care, too much excitement can also be an excessive demand.
- 4. In the early stages of dementia, mental activity is the best medicine.Try to integrate mental stimulation into everyday life, so that "falling asleep" brain areas can be awakened again and again for a while.
- 5. The mental stimulation is in danger of being overstrained.While this does not make the condition any worse, it can be very frustrating for people with Alzheimer's to not "come along" with certain things. You should try to avoid that, especially since dementia brings with it the danger of depressive moods anyway.
- 6. Mental stimulation is good, social contacts are good, but not so good is unfamiliar. Traveling, for example: If you prefer to travel to a well-known holiday destination with your partner, where you know everything from the past, you better forego an exciting tour of Southeast Asia. Or stay at home. People with dementia feel most comfortable in a familiar environment.
- 7. People with dementia often have problems with their diet.The food is increasingly difficult for them and also the drive to eat decreases. As a family member, try to ensure a healthy, wholesome diet as long as possible. If that does not work anymore, I recommend oneHealth juice, which has been scientifically tested and covers all vital nutrients with one spoon per day. You can get there with a bottle for about 50 days.
- 8. At some point, the topic of care becomes current.When you realize that you are reaching the limit of your capacity, you should start thinking about it at the latest. Are you going to a nursing home or a professional home help? Find out what is offered regionally. Your family doctor will be able to help.
- 9. Medications can slow the progression of mental deteriorationto stop for a while. But many of the prescribed products are also associated with significant side effects.Carefully observe the success of the treatment and pay attention to any negative effects.
- 10. Alzheimer's disease not only affects mental strength, it also often has a significant impact on the psyche, Depression, anxiety with great restlessness or even aggressive behavior are not uncommon. Temporarily sedatives may be useful. But the drugs, which are then often prescribed, are also very side effect rich and problematic for the psyche. Do not just listen to the doctor, but look for yourself, whether the medical reassurance does no more harm than to be of use. Often it is simply important to limit the duration of the application from the outset.
Author: Dr. med. Jörg Zorn