What is Alzheimer’s Disease?
Alzheimer’s is a type of physical disease that affects the brain. When a person has Alzheimer’s disease, there is an increasing build-up of protein (called tau) in and around brain cells. Because of this, the neurotransmitters within the brain become less and less able to communicate with each other. As a result, their brain slowly begins to deteriorate which causes a variety of symptoms over time, including memory loss.
Common Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease
- Disruptive memory loss
- Confusion about time or location
- Difficulty problem solving
- Trouble sticking to plans
- Difficulty completing familiar tasks
- Changes in mood/personality
- Poor judgement
- Vision issues
Caring for Someone with Alzheimer’s Disease
Being a carer for someone who has Alzheimer’s Disease can certainly be challenging. In any caring role, there is sure to be times where it is both mentally and physically exhausting. After first getting a diagnosis and learning to navigate this uncharted territory, it can sometimes be difficult to juggle all of your new priorities and responsibilities. This is normal! Trying to care for your loved one, manage your home, work, take care of children, and take care of yourself can be very difficult. It is important to sometimes just take a step back and understand that you are only one person! You can’t do everything yourself so focusing on what is the most important is essential in order to not mentally exhaust yourself.
As your loved one’s condition worsens, their abilities both physically and cognitively will change. This can understandably be difficult for you to watch at times. There is often a lot of emotions that carers experience when their loved ones’ Alzheimer’s worsens. Each time their memory changes or a new symptom arrives, it may seem like you have to relearn how to care for your loved one. Sometimes it can be beneficial to focus more on what they can do rather than what they cannot. Expressing your feelings to someone you trust can also help you relieve some of those negative emotions.
Having a support system is important for all carers, but this is especially the case for those caring for someone with Alzheimer’s Disease. Make an effort to join a carers group, talk to friends, and meet up with family members who also may understand your situation so that you have a way to get away from your caring role at times. This can be extremely beneficial, as the feeling of having people to turn to in times of need can take a tremendous weight off of your shoulders!
Need more support?
If you are caring for someone who has Alzheimer’s Disease and think that you may need a little bit of extra support, we Suffolk Carers Matter would be happy to help! We offer free support, advice, and guidance and even have a free counselling service available should you need it!
CALL us on 01284 333035 – open Monday-Friday 8am-8pm and Saturday-Sunday 10am-2pm.
LIVE CHAT by clicking the blue ask button in the bottom corner of your screen.
Click here to REGISTER with Suffolk Carers Matter.
EMAIL us via our contact form here and we will get back to you.