According to the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s Disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.
Dementia impacts a person’s ability to perform everyday tasks. From eating and dressing to personal hygiene, you may need to take a different approach than you’re used to.
To clarify the difference between terms, dementia is an umbrella term for symptoms impairing memory and thinking. Alzheimer’s is a specific disease.
Rebecca McCarthy has a special certification understanding cognitive decline, or dementia. Through her regular interactions with elderly patients, she’s able to advise others on how to cope when your loved one is impacted. According to McCarthy, some easy and important things to do if your loved one has dementia is to maintain a current list of dosages of medications. That way you’re easily able to help keep track of how much and when the patient is supposed to take medicine. Another big thing to do that she says is often forgotten is to know your own limits. She explains that you can get burned out from helping too much – it’s called caregiver burnout. McCarthy says the best way to avoid it is to understand your emotional and physical limitations and remember to give yourself a break. One easy thing McCarthy says you can do to both assess how much help your loved one needs and monitor the quality of their caregiving is to get a nanny-cam. That way you can monitor them on your phone regardless of where you are.
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