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Putting a loved one in a nursing home is a difficult decision regardless of the circumstances. In the case of Alzheimer’s, most research shows that at some point in the progression of the disease a nursing home becomes the right decision for the family in Cedar Grove. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, there are nearly 2 million people currently living in some form of nursing home. Over 90% of these residents are over 65 years old and most require 24 hour supervision due to some physical limitation or dementia.

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Alzheimer’s disease is an extremely sad and difficult condition to work with. This disease is very difficult on the family members in Cedar Grove. Just thinking that as the days slip by your aging loved one will soon become more and more distant. This can be very depressing and an emotional time for most family caregivers. Besides the common emotion of depression, most family members often feel angry, frustrated, and even at a loss for words.

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It could be difficult to put old Alzheimer patients under home care. One can never predict the changes in the behavioral patterns or progress. Daily activities like sleeping, talking, eating, etc. could become difficult for the patient as well as the care taker. Let me assist you with a few ideas that will help you to take care of Alzheimer patients at home.

Everyday Activities:

An Alzheimer patient might not be interested in any activity. You must try and encourage the patient's strengths. He might not be in any position to learn a new activity or skill.

1. Do not expect too much from an Alzheimer patient. Simple tasks performed well should be accepted.

12. Try and stock only healthy snacks at a place where the person can see.

13. Mostly Alzheimer patients turn agitated, restless or irritable during night. This is quite common and is known as 'sundowning syndrome'. Try to plan in a way such that the patient sleeps early and sleeps well through the night.

14. Try and motivate the person to indulge in physical activities. Taking short naps during daytime is not a good idea. But, the person must be given sufficient rest. This minimizes restlessness in nights and late afternoons.

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"Alzheimer's is not a sprint. It's a marathon." This was what the memory care center manager told us during our first care conference. It took a while for this to sink in fully. She was encouraging our family to find a balance between caring for our loved one who has Alzheimer's and still maintaining a life for ourselves. A sprinter focuses on speed for a short distance but soon runs out of strength. Just as a marathon runner trains for endurance, an Alzheimer's caregiver must approach this disease with the long run in mind.

When we first became responsible for an aunt with Alzheimer's, our lives drastically changed. It often felt as if our lives were spinning out of control. There was little time for anything or anyone other than Aunt Betty. We finally realized that it would be impossible to continue at the same pace. If we failed to take care of ourselves, we might not be able to continue caring for her. Alzheimers can be a long, slow process. It is essential that Alzheimers caregivers take care of themselves, too.

Alzheimer's support groups are usually available at churches, community centers, facilities specializing in memory care, and nursing homes. Check your local yellow pages for groups in your area. If you're not comfortable in a group setting, a private session with a licensed counselor or pastor could prove helpful.

Finally, make it a priority to have relationships with others who have no connection with Alzheimer's. Everything in your life does not have to be about the disease. For your own mental, physical, and emotional health, develop friendships with people who can provide an escape.


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