Support an Alzheimer’s Patient
Alzheimer is an early condition of dementia where the patient suffers from memory loss which intensifies with time. It is a progressive brain disorder where the patient loses the ability to think and carry out routine tasks.
Living with mental disorder is not easy, it can emotionally, psychologically and physically impact the patient to unimaginable levels. But life doesn’t stop for anyone or anywhere. One has to live, no matter what the circumstance is. However, such mental illness demands for various lifestyle changes and adjusting to them is not easy.
The least one can do is support and understand the patient undergoing such illness. Nobody can understand the suffering of the patient however, we can try our bit to bring joy and happiness back in their life and help them in living a regular life. Friends, family, and relatives should do their best to make the patient feel important and at the same time they should not sympathize with them for their condition.
With these tips, one can support their loved ones who are suffering from this Alzheimer’s:
1. Learn what Alzheimer’s disease is: If your relative or friend is suffering from Alzheimer’s then you should make it a point to read thoroughly about what the condition is, its effects, how to cure etc. This would help in better understanding the patient and his actions.
2. Try to converse: It is very important to keep the patient engaged or busy. Even if the patient is finding it difficult to talk, one must converse with them to take their mind off their condition.
3. Be patient: Living with the disease is not easy therefore one should be patient and kind towards the person. There are chances that they may snap or act weirdly in some situations, but we should realise it is not in their hands. They are fighting a battle we can’t even imagine of.
4. Empathy not Sympathy: Any kind of illness should not act as a barrier in understanding the other person. People should and must make efforts to connect with the patient and their feelings.
5. See the person before the Disease: While the patient may not be mentally strong, however, they must be capable of a lot more things. A strong understanding of their positives and abilities rather than disabilities is important to make them feel good about themselves.
6. Stay Connected: Isolation is what affects the patient the most. Therefore one should make continuous efforts to make the patient feel important.
7. Acknowledge their feelings: One should learn to acknowledge the feelings and emotions of the patient once in a while. Pushing away or ignoring them always is no solution to their problem, in fact, you will be hurting them more. Let them openly express themselves and realise their situation. This will help to lighten their heart.
We all know we can’t treat or cure them but this is the least we can do to make them feel loved. The patient may feel lost and snap sometimes, despite all this, remember and remind yourself how important that person is to you. The care will come naturally then.
Celebrate Alzheimer day with PSRI and raise awareness about this disease and eliminate the stigma surrounding it. Though the disease is increasing year by year but the stigma that surrounds it is still a global problem. We, at PSRI (http://www.psrihospital.com/) are aiming to break the shackles surrounding this disease to make it more open.