If you’re caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease, you already understand how important it is to be flexible and patient, and to expect the unexpected. On any given day, the person may experience a broad range of emotions: calm, angry, agitated, fearful, giddy, melancholy. As you adapt your care strategy to match the person’s mood, you also need to juggle managing a host of difficult symptoms: wandering, repetitive behaviors and conversations, memory loss, sundowning. Through all of this, you may not even realize that there are certain factors that can make Alzheimer’s worse, that if avoided, can minimize some of the more challenging effects of the disease.
If you’re caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease, you need to be aware of the following potential complications and contact the person’s doctor for recommendations where applicable:
- Hearing impairment. Untreated age-related hearing loss is linked to a rapid decline in memory. Even something as simple and easily treated as wax buildup in the ears can worsen the effects of Alzheimer’s.
- Too much sugar. A sugar craving is quite common in those with dementia, but can lead to increased irritability and agitation. This is even worse when short-term memory loss causes the person to overeat, forgetting they’ve already had a cookie or two.
- Anticholinergic medications. These drugs are used to treat allergies, asthma, muscle spasms, and overactive bladder, as well as sleeping problems. The chemical they block, however, plays a critical role in memory and learning.
- Alcohol. Alcohol has a much more extreme effect on older adults in general, with one alcoholic beverage the equivalent of three for a younger adult. It contributes to confusion, falls, disinhibition, and depression, all of which can be extremely dangerous for someone with dementia.
- Isolation. The comfort and familiarity of home are often ideal for someone with Alzheimer’s disease, but it’s important to ensure plenty of opportunities for socialization as well.
How Can Home Care Help?
A fully trained and experienced dementia caregiver from CareFor can help in a variety of ways to minimize the effects of Alzheimer’s disease, such as:
- Preparing nutritious meals and snacks
- Providing transportation to medical appointments or fun outings
- Offering friendly companionship for engaging activities and conversations
- Assisting with personal care and hygiene needs
- Taking care of light housekeeping and laundry
- Running errands
- Utilizing skilled, proven tactics to minimize the negative effects of the disease
- And so much more
We’d love to offer customized care services to someone you love who struggles with any of these factors that can make Alzheimer’s worse, or any other challenges related to dementia. Learn more about how we can help by reaching out to us at (512) 338-4533 to schedule your free in-home consultation. Our services are available throughout Austin, Georgetown, San Marcos, and the surrounding areas.