USA – The Alzheimer’s Association reports that 5.4 Million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer’s disease, most 60 and older. About one in nine Americans have Alzheimer’s. This means that if you know 10 people, chances are that at least one of them has Alzheimer’s. It is predicted that Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia will become more prevalent in our society as the Baby Boomer generation is now 65 and older, with a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s or dementia. Data from the U.S. Census estimates that by 2050, the number of Americans with Alzheimer’s may even triple.
Working With An Alzheimer’s Patient
Working with an Alzheimer’s client can be a challenging, but rewarding process. It is important to understand that Alzheimer’s affects everyone differently. It is normal to experience grief and loss if you are the child of an Alzheimer’s patient. However, you are not the only one facing the disease; there is an estimated 15 million caregivers in hospitals, assisted living facilities, and homes across the United States who care for Alzheimer’s patients every day. Caregivers are typically children, relatives, nurses, and other healthcare providers.
As a caregiver, you provide your Alzheimer’s patient with unconditional love and quality care. A caregiver provides help as an unconditional act which not only improves the quality of life for the patient, but also provides the caregiver himself with a sense of reward and fulfillment, knowing that they are directly making a difference in the patient’s life.
Your Alzheimer’s patient may need cues to remember certain information. Cues also help the person maintain independence. As a dedicated caregiver, you want to find the balance between independence and assistance.
- Provide you Alzheimer’s patients with only the minimal assistance needed for activities of daily living. For example, if your Alzheimer’s patient is able to brush her teeth but has trouble applying the right toothpaste, only assist with applying toothpaste and let her brush her own teeth.
- Encourage the Alzheimer’s patient to share his feelings, thoughts, and actions with you. It is natural if they repeat certain moments or memories.
- Forge the relationship between you and your Alzheimer’s patient. Remember that helping others makes us happier, and that there will be good and bad days.
Natural Ways To Prevent Alzheimer’s And Other Dementia
For Generation X and Generation Y (Millennials) preventing Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia should be key in healthy living. As most know, Alzheimer’s is an incurable disease that worsens over time. Age and genetics are uncontrolled risks factors but there are things we can do today to prevent Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.
Stop misusing sleeping aids. Every night over 9 million Americans use prescription sleeping aids, and the number increases if you consider over the counter. Active ingredients in sleeping aids, such as benzodiazepines, zolpidem, zaleplon, and diphenhydramine, have been linked to Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. These ingredients also increased forgetfulness and worsens Alzheimer’s if the individual already suffers from the disease. It is also important to remember that non-generic sleeping aids might not label ingredients in front of the package.
Eat healthier. New research by the American Chemical Society suggests that Blueberries and other dark berries could minimize the risk of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. These superfruits provide helpful antioxidants that may improve cognitive function and memory. Vitamin C and vitamin E are also rich in antioxidants. Specifically, natural full-spectrum vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol and tocotrienols) from foods sources such as Spinach, Almonds, and Avocados, provide the best nutritional benefits which may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s, dementia, and cancer.
Avoid mental stress. Anxiety and stress have a deep connection with mental and physical health. Stress is known to reduce immune functions, cause hypertension and changes in your brain chemistry. Research links chronic stress to higher risk of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s by living healthy and avoiding mental stress.