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Watching a senior loved one struggle with Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia is heartbreaking for families. It’s often referred to as “the long goodbye” because the disease slowly robs an adult of their ability to remain active and independent. For many family members, protecting their loved one’s dignity becomes one of their most pressing concerns.
When a family member has Alzheimer’s disease, the journey can be long and emotional. The highs and lows often leave families wondering if they are providing their senior loved one with the best possible quality of care. While each family’s journey is unique, there are some concerns many families share. Too often, they don’t realize how common the issues they are struggling with really are.
Most of us are familiar with depression and likely know someone who suffers from it. The American Psychiatric Association defines the condition as “a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act.” With proper medical intervention, it is often treatable.
A symptom of dementia most people are familiar with is forgetfulness. Confusion is another. These are the two that are talked about most often. But there are other signs of the disease that aren’t as obvious. If you are an adult child of a senior who is exhibiting some changes in personality or behavior, you may be wondering if something is wrong.
The theory that exercise might slow the progression of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia isn’t new. Research indicates that regular exercise might not only reduce memory loss, but also help keep memory intact. One study is particularly interesting.
Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or a related form of dementia at home can be difficult, especially as the disease progresses. Families frequently turn to memory care communities for help.
Model, restauranteur, and lifestyle maven B. Smith lost her battle with early-onset Alzheimer’s this week. Smith was well-known for being a fabulous cook and charming entertainer. When she lost her train of thought during a live demonstration on the TODAY Show in 2013, she feared the forgetfulness that had been plaguing her might be something more serious than the result of a hectic life. Her physician soon confirmed those suspicions.
When a senior is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, or a similar form of dementia, families often begin to explore senior care options. Family members may need support with their elder’s personal care or help with keeping a senior safe while they are at work. Searching for short-term solutions may result in hiring a home care aide or enrolling in an adult day program.