A person who suffers a brain injury due to an accident may suffer from short term or long term memory loss. It is stressful to lose your memory and not be able to recognize people you love. Alzheimer’s is a condition that can confuse a victim and all the family members. The feeling of helplines can make people such as a spouse or children suffer from depression due to the illness.
Doctors say that this condition can be long-term and need proper care. It can damage a person’s cognitive abilities and cause communication difficulties as well as abnormal tendencies. Knowing how to deal with a spouse in this state can save you lots of pain and stress. Today, we reach out to family members who have an Alzheimer’s patient to give them tips on how to cope with this difficult moment.
Find medical treatment
Being diagnosed with a disease that is incurable brings distress to many. The situation may worsen when the person in question is a spouse whom you have shared lifetime memories with. Even though this disease may not have a cure, researchers say that one can go for years if treatment is sort at an early stage. Medication such as Exelon and Aricept are effective in reducing the progression of memory loss.
Enhance the safety of your home
The loss of memory may make a patient put themselves in harm’s way. Implement all the necessary precautions to make the home safe for your Alzheimer’s family member. You may need to put locks in medicine drawers and grab bar in their bathrooms to prevent them from injuries. This will help reduce anxiety when you are at work knowing that the door locks prevent them from getting lost as they wander outside your home. Taking off a mirror from your bedroom can reduce panic attacks and make them feel safe without thinking that there is someone else in a room.
Be ready for changes in one’s personality
Anticipating changes in the person will prevent you from overreacting when they do abnormal things. Having a spouse who does not recognize you can make you frustrated. Be patient with them and find ways to remind them slowly instead of treating them harshly. They may experience hallucinations which could disrupt your sleep. Accept the changes in their behavior as you correct them cautiously.
Pay attention to all behaviors
A person who has problems expressing themselves may react in a certain way to seek your attention. Do not take their shouting or striking negatively. They may be using these methods to convey a particular message that is challenging to use with words due to their condition. Understanding that such behaviors are unintentional will save you an emotional breakdown.
Find ways to deal with your emotions
It is normal to feel confused and anxious due to a spouse losing all their memories. How you cope with your feelings could affect their condition. Avoid using alcohol to deal with your anxiety and seek help from FL drug and alcohol rehab resources. You need to be there for them rather than wasting your money in liquor bars. Stop burying self-pity in harmful substances and keep your emotions in check to be able to assist them. Seek assistance from relatives to help you whenever they can.
Find out everything there is about Alzheimer’s
Do thorough research on the disease to learn about the different stages. Find out what stage your spouse is at and learn the symptoms of each step. You can seek further information from their doctor to know how the patient is fairing with their current stage and what you can do to make it easy for them.
Take some time to plan as you focus on every possible outcome. Set up enough finances for medical treatments so that the medical bills don’t stress you out. Get a part-time job to generate more income for your sick spouse. Prepare the rest of the family members for the change as you educate them on how to cope. Come up with a new schedule to help everybody work towards making the patient comfortable at home. Get a wheelchair for the patient if they are showing signs of mobility difficulties.
Do not let the loss of memories make you desperate. Talk about the good times you shared together even if they don’t remember. Scientists say that the brain responds more to images than words. You can regularly use pictures as you explain different past moments. Do not lose hope because such photos may start coming back to them. Avoid pressuring them to remember because this can bring confusion to an Alzheimer’s patient.
Show emotional support
Spending time with them as you make new memories can help reduce confusion and stress. Purpose to dedicate some of your time, laughing together even when they have communication challenges. Whatever you do shows that you care despite their memory loss. Accompany them to church for spiritual lifting so that they don’t feel worthless.
Consider getting help from a nursing facility
As the disease advances, extra support from others would come in handy. Seeking assistance from a nursing facility does not mean that you are tired of your spouse. Some people have a negative attitude towards such facilities instead of appreciating the extra hand. Here, they can be monitored by professional nurses who have experience with many similar cases. Visit them from time to time and let them know that you have not abandoned them. You can also get support from associations that deal with Alzheimer’s.
Find ways to distract the person
Patients with this condition may experience anger and mood swings due to the inability to speak or find something. Distract such emotions by playing what used to be their favorite music to calm them down. You can also encourage them to dance with you or sing them enticing songs. Engage them in exciting activities to help reduce the confusion and pain.
Waking up every day to a person who does not recognize your union as a couple may be challenging to anybody. Alzheimer’s should not, however, be a limiting factor in marriage. Use the mechanisms above to help your spouse feel comfortable for them to live a long, happy life.