When people think of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, the first thing that often comes to mind is memory loss. While it is undoubtedly true that memory loss is a major symptom of these cognitive impairments, other symptoms can manifest with these conditions, as well.
For the first time in 18 years, the FDA has approved a new treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. The last approved treatment, Memantine, was approved in 2003. While this announcement quickly started circling amongst news outlets and social media, it began to raise more questions than it answered: What does this mean for my family member with Alzheimer’s?
Individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease or another memory impairment face many unique challenges that can cause frustration and distress and create an environment that is not conducive to wellness and success.
When you receive the news that a parent or family member has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, it can feel earth-shattering. With all the feelings, questions, and emotions running through your head, you might be completely overwhelmed and unsure how to cope.
Moving is never fun or easy, especially if moving from a longtime home to a new and unfamiliar place like a senior living community. This transition is even harder for those with Alzheimer’s or other dementias, moving into a memory care community. While this is often the best place possible for these individuals, the transition can be challenging and distressing.
Caring for a family member with dementia can be an overwhelming and challenging experience. In addition to requiring daily care and engagement, you may have noticed that your family member becomes more irritable and confused during the late afternoon. This isn’t just a coincidence; sundowning is a phenomenon that affects many individuals with dementia and memory conditions when the day becomes evening.
Everyone has had a lapse in memory at some point. We’ve all forgotten the name of that great movie we watched last weekend, blanked on someone’s name, or couldn’t think of the word that’s right on the tip of our tongue. When we are younger, we tend not to think anything of these “brain fogs,” brushing them off as mere absentmindedness. As we get older, though, these momentary lapses of memory become more concerning.
It can feel daunting to take on the role of dementia caregiver, especially if you are new to caregiving in general. However, with the right research, knowledge, and mindset, you can ensure that you create a positive and engaging environment for your family member and can provide the best dementia care possible.
Technology has enhanced our lives in countless ways; we can order groceries from the comfort of our homes, watch movies anywhere, anytime, and stay connected with friends and family during a time of unprecedented distancing. Technology makes our lives more convenient, but it also has the ability to enrich our lives and, in some cases, improve our health.
In the United States alone, more than 5 million people are living with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. As the aging population grows, this number is expected to nearly triple by 2060. Because of this, the need for high-quality, effective memory care programs is crucial now more than ever.