Advice for Families Coping with Alzheimer’s Disease
I recently spoke with a person whose mother passed away from Alzheimer’s disease a few months ago, and we talked about the resilient spirit of people who have this illness. As someone who lost my own grandmother to Alzheimer’s, I am aware of the toll that the disease has on an entire extended family.
Focusing on my grandmother’s enduring qualities, skills, and capabilities helped me cope with her debilitating illness. An effective strategy for caregivers is to focus on your loved one’s remaining abilities rather than all of their obvious losses and Alzheimer’s symptoms. We encourage families whose loved ones are residents of our Compass Memory Support Neighborhood to keep their attention on this because it forms the foundation of our programs and care.
The significant changes in the brain brought on by Alzheimer’s disease are well understood. People who have the disease, however, get up each day and make an effort to function as best they can. Today, pay attention to what your loved one is capable of, what persists, and where strengths are evident. Is it a lifetime stubborn trait that makes caring for others difficult but has, through the years, given your marriage a “good laugh”? Maybe it’s a gardening obsession that endures, a dancing move that is easily remembered when a beloved song is played, or a clear tenacity in the face of dementia.
Pause and pay attention to whatever it is. Although this won’t change or undo the losses that have already occurred, it might influence your perspective. According to recent studies, adopting an optimistic outlook improves general quality of life, shields us from depression, strengthens our immune systems, and may even lengthen our lives. It might even make providing care on a daily basis seem a little less taxing.
Here are some great resources to check out if you need advice for families coping with Alzheimer’s Disease:
- 7 Online Dementia Support Groups For Caregivers F People With Dementia
- What Can Cause Alzheimer’s Disease?
- Stages And Symptoms of Vascular Dementia
- Anticholinergics Worsen Dementia And Increase Dementia Risk
- Major Reasons People Die from Alzheimer’s Disease?