Posted on: Tuesday, September 29th, 2020
You may have a loved one who has suffered from Alzheimer’s disease. It is one form of dementia and is affecting more and more older adults in our society. It is important that we discuss these diseases because they are currently not curable and raising awareness, can promote further research towards a cure, prevention, and helping individuals/families affected.
Alzheimer’s disease can be described as a disease that over time, affects every facet of an individual’s brain functioning including how they feel, act, and think. For some individuals, the disease can progress very quickly or take many years to do so. Common signs of Alzheimer’s include: progressive memory loss, inability to complete simple tasks, getting lost, forgetting words more frequently, restlessness, and eventually having difficulty caring for oneself (eating, bathing, etc.).
The short-term memory (memories of events that occurred recently) starts to be affected first and then eventually long-term memories also start to fade. This disease is NOT a natural part of the ageing process and is a terminal disease that damages one’s brain cells and continues up to when that individual’s death.
Family caregivers of individuals with some form of dementia can be described as “invisible second patients” and experience caregiver stress, social isolation, and worry about the progression of the disease in their affected family members. Seeking out additional support from family members/paid caregivers is a viable option people can utilize. Seeking out emotional/psychological support to relieve anxiety, depression, and stress about this responsibility can also be helpful to those caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s/dementia.
If you would be interested in volunteering, please consider the Alzheimer Society of Calgary. If you are in need of further support in discussing your caregiving role or familial role with someone who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s/Dementia, please reach out to Journey Counselling to book an appointment (403-619-8558).