Caring For Parents With Alzheimer's Disease

By Boone Swann

Alzheimer's disease directly affects about four million people in the United States, though it affects many more of us indirectly. While we may not be suffering from the disease personally, many of us are in a position where it has become necessary to care for someone with Alzheimer's. To understand how best to cope with a parent diagnosed with Alzheimer's, you must first have a clear understanding of what it is and how it affects the people you love.

What is Alzheimer's disease?

Although there known genetic and environmental factors that contribute to the disease, the exact cause of Alzheimer's is unknown. It is a degenerative disease of the brain that results in progressive dementia. This often begins with progressive memory loss, followed by increasingly disorganized thought and speech patterns. Due to the continual deterioration of the brain, the disease progresses to a point in which the person becomes helpless and can no longer care for themselves. It eventually results in death.

Getting Prompt Medical Care

If you suspect Alzheimer's disease in a parent, it is important to get a prompt diagnosis. You'll want to find a family physician or internal medicine doctor familiar with the disease, preferably one specially trained in diseases of the elderly. Other doctors that may diagnosis Alzheimer's include neurologists and psychologists. While there is no cure, there are many medications available that can help treat and slow down the progression of the disease.

It is also important so set up a support system for yourself as soon as you learn of the diagnosis. Caring for someone with Alzheimer's is an overwhelming task. A good place to start is your local Alzheimer's Association. They are extremely helpful and can offer advice on caring for your parent and personal coping strategies. They can also direct you to local support groups and other helpful organizations. You may want to locate a place early on as well that can help with care if it becomes too much.

Finding an Appropriate Facility

Many times it becomes too much to care for a parent with Alzheimer's disease on your own. Often you cannot be there to consistently take care of their needs. If this should happen, be sure to find an appropriate facility adept at caring for patients with Alzheimer's and dementia. Research your options to find the most appropriate place for your loved one. An assisted living situation may best meet your needs. There are also nursing facilities and smaller licensed residential care homes. Though it is more costly, there are Alzheimer's disease dedicated facilities that treat Alzheimer's patients only and focus solely on their specific needs.

Remember, caring for someone with Alzheimer's disease is an emotionally stressful experience, and you'll need to remember to care for yourself also. Be sure to take time out for a break and to meet your needs so that you can be at your best to deal with your affected parent. There are many day facilities that can care for them when you need a break on a temporary basis. Also, become as knowledgeable about the disease, available treatments, and options as you possibly can so that you can be prepared for what is to come. This will also help in reducing the stress involved if you are prepared in what to expect and how to handle the progression of the disease and have also adequate coping strategies in place.

Visit Health Solutions To Your Health Concerns.

More Resources

$errorCode = 9
xml_error_string() = Invalid character
xml_get_current_line_number() = 380
xml_get_current_column_number() = 23
xml_get_current_byte_index() = 39051
Custom Search

More Alzheimer's Articles:

Related Articles

Loneliness Linked To Increased Risk Of Alzheimer's Disease

People who feel lonely may be twice as likely to develop Alzheimer's disease in their later years as those who feel they have a close network of friends and family, researchers report. The findings appeared in the Archives of General Psychiatry, a mental health journal from the American Medical Association.

Remembering Manuel...(Alzheimer's/dementia)

Heart-breaking is the only word I can use to describe Manuel, who was a patient the same time I was a patient, at the VA hospital in 2005. At the time, I knew nothing about dementia...that awful disease that takes away the mind, and leaves the person hopelessly in the dark!

Is It Alzheimer's Or Simple Forgetfulness? An Alzheimer's Definition

Find out the real Alzheimer's definition. Learn what to do if you or someone you know seems to have Alzheimer's.

Behavioral Manifestations of Alzheimer's Dementia

Alzheimer's Dementia has a combination of cognitive and behavioral manifestations. Cognitive impairment is the core problem which includes memory deficits and at least one of the following: aphasia or language problem, agnosia or problems with recognition, apraxia or motor activity problem, and impairment in executive functioning (e.g. planning, abstract reasoning, and organizing).

Understanding Alzheimer's

Alzheimer's disease is still an extremely controversial subject as there is no known cause and no known cure. But thanks to microscopes, laser scans and a multitude of other medical advances, there really is no controversy about what part of the body Alzheimer's affects, and that is the brain. Alzheimer's essentially causes a loss of brain tissue over time that starts with a person forgetting simple things and progresses to fully fledged dementia. The big question that everyone wants to know is what causes Alzheimer's and what can be done to prevent it?

Reduce Risk of Alzheimers - Play Chess

If there was ever a good reason to play chess it's this one, your brain's health. Mental activities like playing chess have been linked to reducing the risk of getting Alzheimer's disease and Dementia.

Identifying the Stages of Alzheimer's

Identifying the stages of Alzheimer's helps family members and friends in anticipating what changes to expect and how to prepare. Knowing what to expect, in some cases, helps to make the disease easier to deal with.

Supportive Information On Coping With The Signs And Symptoms Of Alzheimer's Disease

There's no doubt about it - if someone you love develops Alzheimer's disease, your lives will be changed forever. It's truly devastating to watch someone you love as they begin to lose their memory, and as the disease progresses, it also becomes a lot more difficult to care for that person. Let's take a look at a few basic ways in which you can cope more effectively as your loved develops Alzheimer's.

The Conditions Of Alzheimer's Dementia Explained

Alzheimers disease is fundamentally a form of mental disorder known as dementia. The disease is by far the most ever-present dementing illness of today with the more common form of Alzheimers disease known as late-onset Alzheimer's.

Are All Dementias Alzheimer's?

I'm surprised when some patients and caregivers confuse dementia and Alzheimer's as one and the same. Each time a family member is suffering from memory loss, the conclusion is always Alzheimer's. Is it reasonable to label all dementias as Alzheimer's?