According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as many as 5.8 million people lived with Alzheimer’s as of last year. Alzheimer’s affects the brains of people and is characterized by progressive degeneration of specific parts of the brain. Experts are still trying to zero in on specific causes of Alzheimer’s disease, but clinical studies have cited several environmental and lifestyle factors that can increase an individual’s susceptibility to Alzheimer’s disease.
However, older people have a higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease, representing about one in nine persons aged 65 and above. Symptoms can range from very mild brain disturbances and sleeplessness to other serious conditions like hallucinations and paranoia, which come with the progress of the disease. These might come new to you if you have to care for a relative with Alzheimer’s all of a sudden. But you’re not alone. Here are three keys to managing Alzheimer’s disease.
1. Educate yourself on the illness.
Living with an Alzheimer’s patient can be frustrating, and if you’re new to all the disorientation and memory loss, it can be more frustrating for you. Generally, neurodegenerative diseases may affect each patient differently, and you may see clinical symptoms which can be hard to pin down to one underlying cause of Alzheimer’s. The same applies to Alzheimer’s treatment options. The best way to gain a hold of yourself in managing a patient is to opt for continuous and further research.
Specific areas to consider for your research can include common behavioral symptoms of Alzheimer’s patients or behavior changes over short periods of time. Beyond all the Alzheimer’s treatment solutions, the one thing many patients need is empathy. Getting earlier access to further studies can help you understand some of the behavior problems and empathize with the new changes.
2. Know the right medications and supplements for treatment.
Patients may require critical care from therapy and overall wellness professionals, who may put patients on routine checkups and new treatment appointments. However, if you’re the main caregiver, you’re equally essential in administering medication at home. Therefore, it pays to understand drug and supplement use for Alzheimer’s patients. Supplements like VitaRx can provide the vitamin and other essential nutrients to sustain the mental health conditions and overall health of a sufferer. However, prioritizing the medical advice and instructions from pharmacists can be a good idea.
Also, ensure to only use drugs approved by health experts with extensive experience. As a caregiver, if you must provide any drug to a patient, ensure to perform a thorough drug evaluation. First, check drug labels for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) certification. Several types of drugs exist on the market today for Alzheimer’s. But choosing an option based on the drug’s clinical benefit can impact your Alzheimer’s patient’s health.
3. Seek help when needed.
Supporting a family member living with Alzheimer’s disease is no easy task. Having to administer drugs and provide primary care on a daily basis can affect your lifestyle choices. The good news is you don’t have to do it alone. About 16 million Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers exist in the United States, so finding a caregiver to help with the daily duties can be a good idea. In today’s digital world, you can find online caregivers who can provide counseling and therapy sessions to Alzheimer’s patients in the comfort of their homes. This can be a convenient option compared to moving your patient to the hospital every time for their appointments.
All in all, managing Alzheimer’s can be stressful for both the patient and the caregiver. Although the disease may have no cure, creating a support system for a patient can significantly help manage Alzheimer’s disease.
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