Alzheimer’s disease comes with a range of symptoms that can be difficult to come to terms with, both for the patient and the people in his or her life. As it is a degenerative disease, these symptoms will change and worsen over time. To improve quality of life, for both patients and carers, it helps to know some strategies for managing the symptoms better and slowing down the progression of the disease.
Finding the right medications
While there is no way to cure Alzheimer’s disease, some medications have been found effective at relieving the symptoms and slowing down their progression. If you haven’t already been prescribed medication for your condition, then talk to your doctor for their recommendations.
If you are on a course of medication, make sure you always take the recommended dose at the right times. Taking too much or too little can be harmful. Carers should support Alzheimer’s patients with medication management if needed, as the progression of its symptoms can make sticking to this schedule difficult.
Helping them manage their symptoms
There are lots of ways you can support an Alzheimer’s patient outside of medication. Here are some ways you can support them when managing their symptoms:
- Maintain a routine – Even simple, day-to-day activity can be overwhelming for Alzheimer’s patients, so it helps to make it as familiar as possible to them by maintaining a consistent routine. Reducing novel experiences can help to manage memory problems, for example, by knowing that they have breakfast at 8am every day and then take their medication and go for a walk.
- Keep the environment familiar – This familiarity should apply to their surroundings as well. Symptoms are more likely to flare up in environments that they are unfamiliar with and, therefore, uncomfortable in. Avoid making changes to their living space so that they can come back to something familiar. Sounds and sensations can also trigger confusion and agitation. Make sure their surroundings aren’t too loud, too hot, or too cold.
- Encourage social activity – Socialization helps to keep the brain active and also prevents symptoms of loneliness and depression. Encouraging them to socialize with peers or family members can help to keep them in good health. If this is difficult for them, then sitting to talk to them or play a game with them can help, too.
- Distracting them – When someone with Alzheimer’s does start to get confused or agitated, it helps to know how to distract them from this confusion. Don’t try to argue with them or correct them when they are confused or misremembering things. Instead, change the subject to something they are interested in or distract them with an engaging activity.
If you need help caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease, then contact Bermuda Village for more information about our assisted living community and other care options in the Bermuda Run Country Club. We have residents from all around Winston Salem, Bermuda Run, Clemmons, and Lewisville.