Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer's or other dementia causing illnesses is an emotional, physical and spiritual challenge. Knowing that other people you may know are also dealing with these dramatic changes in personality, cognitive ability, physical ability and family roles usually helps lower the stress on the primary care provider.
An Alzheimer's Association affiliated support group meets the second Monday of each month at 1:30pm in the second floor, Statesboro First United Methodist church library. Bring your questions and your ideas and talk with others who understand the specific challenges you and your care partner are going through.
Approximately ten million Americans are currently caring for a person with Alzheimers, withover 75% of their care provided by friends and relatives according to the Alzheimer's Associaiton.
In the early stages of the disease, people may think the person with AD is just not listening or not trying. The fact is that the nerves in the brain are no longer communicating as in youth and the brain can't store and retrieve new memories. As the disease progresses, other symptoms may occur, including sleep disturbances, delusions, pacing or inappropriate language. agitation may seriously interfere with activities of daily living such as eating and dressing. The person may become moody or withdrawn and typically reacts poorly to changes in routine.
Ideas to address these and other topics will be presented during the meeting.
In the early stages of the disease, the patient is encouraged to simplify their routines, develop a central location for family communication (notes about events, phone calls), use technology to help retrieve information, get financial and legal assistance for the future. The caregive is encouraged to become educated about the disease, attend support group meetings, start putting important documents and treasured objects away, provide a clear path through the house , begin using only one door as an exit, install locks to prevent wandering, clear the house and closet of excess, begin to limit choices to make decisions easier for the impaired person.
You may call the Alzheimer's Association regional office at 1-800-272-3900 for the 24 hour Helpline, a free service provided by contributions to the Alzheimer's Association, the leading private source of research and service to families involved with this disease.
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