Memory Care For Patients With Alzheimer’s
Patients suffering with Alzheimer’s disease are increasingly receiving memory care through private care homes, community outreach programs, and personal caregivers. Alzheimer’s has no known cure although research continues. The major contributing factor is advancing age, with most Alzheimer’s patients being 65 or older. Although current medical science is still unable to stop the progression of the disease, many of the symptoms like irritability, anxiety, and sleep disturbances can be better managed with memory care. Here are some of the major components of memory care programs.
Maintain a stable, calm environment. Minimize background distraction such as TV, loud noise and avoid bright lighting. Patients often have a hard time adjusting themselves to a new environment so if they are moving into a care home, bring bedroom furniture and other articles to maintain familiarity and minimize confusion.
Make the Living Area Secure
Provide secured living areas. One of the most common symptoms of the disease is wandering and Alzheimer’s patients easily become lost. Many care homes, and adult day care facilities that provide services for Alzheimer’s patients have lockable living areas to maintain their patient’s safety.
Medication management is important for insuring a regular schedule is maintained, the dosage is correct and also to recognize any behavioral changes that may be associated with the medication. The patient may also have additional health issues that they are taking medication for and possible interactions need to be monitored.
Comfort monitoring is used to maintain good health and reduce behavioral problems. As the disease progresses, Alzheimer’s sufferers may become increasingly unable to express themselves. Although some behavioral symptoms are a result of the disease’s effect on the brain, some may be from discomfort. A patient may be too cold or hot or suffering from a urinary tract or ear infection. Examination may find they have skin irritation, a full bladder, constipation, or any number of factors that are causing them discomfort.
Help with Personal Care
Many patients require assistance with regular bathing and other personal care. Providing personal assistance and things like accessible shower facilities helps patients maintain a regular schedule. 24 hour care is necessary to provide an Alzheimer’s patient with a safe, healthy environment.
Keep Patients Engaged
Provide opportunities for interaction with other patients or individuals and activities that keep patients engaged and not just busy. A feeling of isolation is a common experience among Alzheimer’s sufferers and an environment that lets them enjoy others company, form bonds and interact with people reduces anxiety and behavioral problems.
Understand the disease. Professionals or experienced personal caregivers understand that it isn’t personal. Understanding the disease and it’s symptoms goes a long way in coping with behavioral problems. If you are a memory care provider remain patient, supportive and be flexible. Look for reasons behind the behavior. Is the patient sick or uncomfortable for some reason? If you are not sure consult a physician. When you feel frustrated talk to someone.