It’s hard to deal with the news that your loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, but it can be even more difficult to cope with the illness in the family. Read on for tips on how to make things a little easier.
What is Alzheimer’s Disease?
Alzheimer’s is a degenerative brain disorder that causes memory, thinking, and behavior problems. It is the most common form of dementia, accounting for 60-80% of all cases. The disease is progressive, meaning it worsens over time, and there is no cure.
The causes of Alzheimer’s are not fully understood. Still, it is thought to be a combination of genetics, lifestyle, and environmental factors.
What Are the Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease?
The symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease vary from person to person, but they typically progress from mild to severe over time. Early symptoms may include forgetfulness, difficulty remembering names or recent events, and changes in mood or behavior. As the disease progresses, symptoms may include severe memory loss, confusion, hallucinations, delusions, and difficulty speaking or writing.
The rate at which the disease progresses varies from person to person, but the average life expectancy after diagnosis is about eight years.
What Are the Treatment Options for Alzheimer’s Disease?
There is no cure for Alzheimer’s, but treatments available can help manage the symptoms. The patient must be placed under the care of specialists at neuro-rehabilitation facilities who will prescribe the most appropriate treatments, including medications, therapies, and lifestyle changes.
For instance, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the use of Aducanumab in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. It is not a cure, but it reduces the patient’s beta-amyloid plaques. That could, in turn, slow down the decline of the patient.
Pulsed Electromagnetic Field (PEMF) Therapy is another promising treatment method for Alzheimer’s. PEMF therapy uses magnetic pulses to stimulate the cells and improve the function of the nervous system.
Photobiomodulation therapy (PBMT) is a type of low-level laser therapy that has shown to be effective in treating Alzheimer’s. It reduces inflammation and oxidative stress and promoting nerve growth.
A study published in 2020 shows that long-term regular exercise effectively improves the neuro-psychiatric symptoms and cognitive function of those with Alzheimer’s disease.
Some dietary supplements like polyphenols improve the patient’s gut biome. That leads to improvements in neurologic conditions.
The patient’s nutrition can also be adjusted to make the most of micronutrients that can help control brain inflammation.
These are just some examples of treatments available, but it’s important to speak with specialists to see what would work best for your loved one.
Coping With Alzheimer’s Disease in the Family
It can be difficult to cope with a loved one’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis, but there are ways to make things a little easier. Here are some tips.
Educate Yourself About the Disease
The more you know, the better you’ll be able to deal with the situation. Learn as much as possible about Alzheimer’s disease, its symptoms, and its progression. This will help you understand what your loved one is going through and how to best support them.
Make sure to keep up with the latest research developments, too, as new treatments or medications may be available that could help your loved one.
Create a Support System
It’s important to have a support system in place to help you cope with the stress of caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s. Talk to other family members and close friends about what you’re going through.
There are also many support groups available for caregivers of Alzheimer’s patients. These can be a great source of information, advice, and emotional support.
Make Time for Yourself
It’s important to care for yourself, both physically and emotionally. Caregiving can be very stressful, so schedule some time for yourself every day. This may mean taking a break from caregiving duties to read, exercise, or just relax.
You should also make sure to eat nutritious meals and get adequate sleep. Taking care of yourself will help you be better equipped to handle the challenges of caregiving.
Get Help From Professionals
If you’re struggling to cope, don’t hesitate to seek professional help not just for the patient but also for yourself. There are many resources available, including counselors, therapists, and support groups.
Alzheimer’s disease can be a difficult process for both the patient and their loved ones. However, by educating yourself about the disease and seeking out support, you can make things a little easier.
Care for Your Loved One and Yourselves
There are many ways to cope with a loved one’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis. Educate yourself about the disease, make time for yourself, and get help from professionals. Most importantly, don’t hesitate to ask for support from family and friends. Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s can be difficult, but by working together, you and your family can make things a little easier.