When a family member is diagnosed with a disease, especially one like Alzheimer’s, it can be difficult not only for them to deal with, but also the entire family as a whole. Alzheimer’s starts off slow, but can often lead to issues like mood swings, language problems, memory loss, disorientation, lack of motivation, and could ultimately lead to death. It is said to affect around 10% of the population over 65 years old, so is fairly prevalent.
When someone is diagnosed with this disease, they need your help now more than ever. However, we know it can also be overwhelming to handle for you as a family member. With that in mind, we have decided to go over a few different ways you can help those living with Alzheimer’s.
Educate Yourself About The Disease
First and foremost, you should educate yourself about the disease. Is it hard for your to empathize or know how to help if you don’t know about what the other person is going through.There is a ton of information online about the subject, and you should be sure to read up on it.
There will also be a lot of information online about how to respond when someone gets the diagnosis. It will be a confusing and transitional period for everyone, but the best way to prepare is to know all about what you’re up against.
Offer Your Assistance and Be Available
The last thing you want to do when a family member or friend is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s is to cut off communications or ignore them. You need to reach out to them frequently, and you need to let them know that you are able to help them with anything they need, from getting groceries, to helping them clean or simply being someone to talk to.
However, a lot of these people suffering from Alzheimer’s don’t want to be treated differently and still want to maintain their independence. As a result, you should look to be available and offer assistance, while also allowing them to still control their own lives and what sorts of things they want to handle on their own.
Consider Outside Help Like Hospice Care
There is no doubting that dealing with Alzheimer’s is tough physically and mentally for everyone involved. Instead of just doing it all on your own, there are some options you have for some help. Hospice, in particular, can be very helpful as it can control symptoms, improve quality of life and help ease the anxiety and stress.
Hospice is generally for those who have a life expectancy of six months or less, so ensure you speak with a doctor if hospice care is something your family is considering. If you want to learn more about hospice care and how it can help, the internet has helpful information and resources to see if it is the right thing for your family and situation.
Be Patient and Try Not to Get Frustrated
This diagnosis will be a big change for your family. As a result, it can be easy to get frustrated with. However, for the sake of the individual suffering from the disease, you need to do your best to be patient with them and keep your cool. Remember, this is a very tough disease to deal with, so you need to be flexible.
This is incredibly important, especially early on, as the diagnosed individual might not be open to your support or might be apprehensive and want to remain completely independent. Simply stay the course, and give them time to be ready to accept the help that you are offering.
Updated: April 24, 2018