World Alzheimer's Day 2023: Get help from family and friends for care.
World Alzheimer's Day 2023: Alzheimer's disease has become a challenge for the whole world, affecting millions of people and India is also not untouched by this growing concern. According to the World Health Organization, this is the most common form of dementia. Also, the estimated prevalence of Alzheimer's among adults aged 60 years and above in India is 7.4. According to the Alzheimer's Association, about 60.8 million Indians over the age of 8 suffer from dementia. As these numbers continue to grow, there is an urgent need to raise awareness about it. Equally big is the role of caregivers for the wellbeing of their loved ones with Alzheimer's.
Therefore, it is important to educate caregivers and give practical advice to empower them to provide better care and support to their loved ones, as well as advice from health care professionals.
Tips for caregivers of Alzheimer's patients | Tips for caregivers of Alzheimer's patients
1. Understanding the disease
Caregivers can start by educating themselves about Alzheimer's. They can educate themselves about the symptoms, stage and progression of the disease. Understanding the nature of the disease can help them provide better care and support.
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2. Creating a Structured Routine
Create a daily routine that includes frequent meal times, medication schedules, and activities. The prognosis can reduce anxiety and confusion in Alzheimer's patients.
Talk with patience and empathy. Speak slowly and clearly while maintaining eye contact. Use simple language and avoid heavy questions. Apart from this, it is necessary to listen actively to understand the needs and feelings of the patient.
4. Take care of safety
Alzheimer's patients may be at risk of wandering and accidents. Caregivers can lock the doors if necessary to prevent them from moving out without supervision.
Also read: Be aware of the 6 warning signs of this brain disease, do not ignore it as normal
5. Nutrition and Hydration
To prevent dehydration, take a balanced diet and monitor their liquid intake. Pay attention to nutrient-rich food and hydration.
6. Engaging Activities
Promote cognitive function through engaging activities that suit their preferences and abilities. Puzzles, art, music and memorization activities can be beneficial. Adopt activities when the disease progresses.
7. Take care of yourself too
Caring for someone with Alzheimer's can be emotionally and physically exhausting. Caregivers should not ignore their wellbeing. Seeking help from family, friends, and taking regular breaks can help recharge and prevent burnout.
While caregivers can provide support, it's important to seek advice from a health care professional to manage Alzheimer's effectively. In addition, doctors may prescribe medications to slow the progression of the disease, manage symptoms, and provide support services.
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What do caregivers do and what not to do?
What to do:
Be educated: Educate yourself about Alzheimer's to better understand the disease and its progression.
Be patient and kind: Alzheimer's patients can pose a challenge for you. Approach them with empathy and understanding.
Maintain a health system: Seek help from family and friends or consider joining a caregiver support system.
Promote independence: Encourage a person with Alzheimer's to do things they can do on their own to maintain a sense of dignity and autonomy.
What not to do:
Don't argue or improve: Avoid arguing with a person, as it can lead to frustration.
Don't ignore your needs: Caregivers often ignore their wellbeing. Remember not to forget to take care of yourself for better care.
Don't be isolated: Keep a person with Alzheimer's socially engaged and maintain their relationships with loved ones.
Caring for someone with Alzheimer's can be challenging, but with the right information, support, and resources, caregivers can make a big difference in their loved one's quality of life.
(Dr. Arun Garg, Chairman- Neurology (Stroke), Institute of Neurosciences, Medanta, Gurugram)
(Disclaimer: This content, including advice, provides general information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.)