A loved one's diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease can be a troubling thing, especially when you don't understand the progression of the condition or the trouble signs you should be watching for. By knowing the early warning signs of significant progression, you might be more equipped to seek supportive care or an independent living environment when your loved one needs it most. Here are a few things you should watch for that may indicate that your family member needs more support than you can provide.
Not Eating Well
Most people understand that Alzheimer's disease leads to forgetfulness. What many overlook is that it even leads to forgetting simple things like meal times and what hunger feels like. As a result, you may find that your loved one forgets to eat or doesn't even recognize that he or she is hungry.
Make an effort to supply a lot of prepared snacks, like salads in a jar or fresh fruits and finger foods. Keep a watch on the foods to ensure that your loved one is actually eating. If you cannot be sure that he or she is eating regularly, consider an independent living environment where you can get support for daily meal deliveries without disrupting the parts of the routine that he or she is able to handle on their own.
Insomnia and restlessness often come along with conditions like Alzheimer's disease and can worsen as the condition progresses. Not only will patients struggle with sleeping through the night, but going to sleep in general can be difficult as well. You can help combat this by establishing a routine that helps train the body to prepare for bedtime. These routines help to trigger the body's natural melatonin release and other preparations.
Start with a protein-rich snack about an hour before bed, then spend some time relaxing with low lights and quiet music or something similar in the background. If possible, set a timer to disable the television during those hours, because the light from the screen can disrupt sleep. Disabling it ensures that your loved one doesn't forget and try to watch it at bedtime.
Struggles With Daily Care
As Alzheimer's reaches more severe progression, your family member may start struggling with general daily care tasks and household maintenance. This often leads to poor cleaning habits and skipped showers or other hygiene concerns. Over time, it can also lead to dangers like cooking accidents, falls and wandering off.
Since Alzheimer's progresses differently for everyone, it's important that you know some of the key warning signs to watch for. If your loved one is experiencing any of these problems, it may be time to look into an independent living facility that will offer just the support that he or she needs.Share
19 June 2016
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