What to Do When Alzheimer’s Gets Worse
There are over 5.7 million Americans who have Alzheimer’s. Deaths from the disease have increased by 123% between 2000 and 2015. Researchers and scientists are still working on identifying the disease, its cause, symptoms, and cures. Fortunately, medical experts have been able to determine that there are 3 stages of Alzheimer’s:
In the preclinical phase, a patient usually exhibits a very mild cognitive decline. The changes that may happen are like memory lapses, forgetting everyday words and placement of objects. It may take up to 20 years for a person to show any major symptoms of Alzheimer’s.
At the mild to moderate phase, the patient has noticeable difficulties in memory and concentration. They have greater trouble remembering names, words, etc. They also have great difficulty in performing tasks or in planning and organization. They may even forget their own personal history. The evolution of this stage only means that the patient will struggle more and more with memory and language.
By the last stage, patients are incapable of communicating or performing personal care. Their physical abilities decline. Patients lose coherent speech and have trouble controlling their bowel movements. It is as though the brain no longer tells the body what to do. Eventually, the patients become completely dependent on others for care even in tasks like bathing, eating or walking.
The progression of the disease varies from patient to patient but one thing that is certain is that patients continue becoming worse.
How to Respond When the Patients Get Worse
It is true that as Alzheimer’s patients become worse, they lose their ability to talk and express their needs but some core of the person’s self may also remain. You are able to connect with them as they get worse by expressing your care through touch, sound, sight, taste, and smell.
You can play them their favorite music or look at old photos together. You can also brush their hair or read portions of books to them. The underlying factor is that as they become worse, their world is primarily experienced through the senses.
Moving them to a Care Facility
This has to be one of the most difficult decisions that the family of the patient must make yet it is a necessary one. When the patient gets worse, they will need extensive care which may not be adequately provided at home even when there is additional assistance. The alternative would be placing the patient in a care facility where they can receive quality care.
Are You Having Trouble Caring For Someone With Alzheimer’s?
Taking care of Alzheimer’s patients who are getting worse is difficult because you have to do practically everything for them. Be patient with them. You will need a lot of strength to watch as the loved one slowly gets worse.
Get Assistance from the Leading Home Care Providers in Phoenix, AZ
Call (480) 999-3012 and talk to one of our staff at Devoted Guardians. We are one of Arizona’s largest home care providers and offer daily 24-hour living assistance, including nighttime watch and personal assistance.