CogniFit's Science blog: The Challenges Of Coping And Supporting One With Alzheimer’s

The Challenges Of Coping And Supporting One With Alzheimer’s

Today more than 5 million Americans live with and struggle with the disease of Alzheimer’s. It is a disease that comes with a great deal of emotions ranging from confusion and frustration to anger, fear and even depression.

Whether you are going through it yourself or are supporting someone else, it can be a great challenge.

If you are assisting someone with Alzheimer’s and helping them cope, the greatest thing you can do for them is to simply be there. Being at their side and listening to what they have to say is crucial. In addition, reassure them that you care deeply about them and that life is not over…it can still be enjoyed.

There is no saying how exactly one will react to the disease as everyone experiences different symptoms and degrees of severity. It is best to provide a calm and stable home environment to reduce behavior problems as much as possible as this is a common symptom from those struggling.

Any kinds of new situations, noises or large groups of people should usually be avoided as this can cause a panic. So too can rushing your loved one or pressing them to remember something in particular. If you ask them to take on a complicated task, it very well could lead to a rush of anxiety.

Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s almost becomes a job in itself as it is extremely demanding both physically and emotionally. While there are countless symptoms your loved one will experience, you too may go through troubling times. Caregivers can sometimes build up feelings of anger and guilt, frustration and discouragement, worry and grief.

Although it is the last thing some people want to think about, it is important you think of yourself first. For the sake of your sanity and your loved one’s well-being, you must take care of yourself first and then the person dealing with the disease. There are several things you can do to better the situation for everyone.

First and foremost, make sure you take the time to learn as much about the disease as you can. No matter how much you think you know, keep in mind you can never know too much. Don’t be afraid to ask the doctors or social workers questions to truly stay involved.

Next, call friends and other family members to help from time to time. You should never feel it is all up to you to handle everything as this will only wear on you and gradually terminate your health as well.

Lastly, make sure to take a break every day. As mentioned, caring for a loved one going through Alzheimer’s is a rigorous duty. It is vital you take time for yourself to relax, do your brain training exercise, read a book, meditate or something that will help clear your mind. Remember, your health and well-being is just as important as your loved ones.