Did you know about 1 in 9 people have Alzheimer’s disease that are age 65 and older? That is more than 6 million Americans. With this disease being so common, it is important that we are able to watch for signs of Alzheimer’s from our loved and aging seniors. Here at Bel Aire we have over 25 years of experience with watching for signs of and caring for people with Alzheimer’s disease. Below are some of the signs that you can watch for in your seniors.
Alzheimer’s is a progressive brain disorder that affects memory, thinking, and behavior. Over time a person may not be able to recognize faces or even recall memories of those they have loved most in life. However, it won’t start that abruptly. It may start as small things like not remembering the way home. At this point you should keep in touch very often. Always making sure they are safe and doing well. This will take your time and energy, but you will be able, over time, to identify how quickly their condition is declining.
Understand that changes in behavior, personality, and mood are due to the disease. It is not their fault and they do not realize that they are acting out. At this stage the best thing you can do is be patient. They are still the same loved one. They are just experiencing a difficult disease and the more patience you have for them, the better the situation will be. Understand that they do not understand.
Out of Routine
You may have known your senior to have the same routine everyday for years. One of the signs of Alzheimer’s disease is getting out of that same old routine or taking longer to get through it. They may sleep in until noon and then garden late into the evening. This is another scenario where it is good to check in with them often. Making sure that if they are out of routine you can help them get back on track or offer to go over and help. Asking questions to them is a great way to keep their brain functioning.
This is one of the biggest signs that are noticeable. Wandering can oftentimes be a scary thing as they can wander outside and even go into the street. They may just wander around a grocery store when they intentionally went for groceries but just forget why they were there. Be sure they have a cell phone and that they are keeping it on them. That way you can have contact with them and they can also use it if they are capable of it.
Misplacing items in odd places
Finding keys in the fridge or a TV remote in the car is another sign. Most often they won’t even remember placing those items in such strange spots. Don’t be upset with them for losing their items. It is the disease, not them. Communicate patiently with them and be honest about what signs you are seeing. If needed, professional help is always a great route to take to help your loved one still live a great life even with this disease.
Bel Aire’s Alzheimer’s care
Our American Fork facility offers what is called memory care. Memory care is our hallway for individuals with Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia. Our staff is trained to not only catch signs of Alzheimer’s but also treat those who already have it. Our activities coordinator has brain stimulating activities to help invigorate the mind of each resident. We especially try to make time for music therapy. This helps to keep their minds functioning as much as possible.
Our facility is built to ensure the safety of our residents. They are in an area that requires a code to get in and out. That way, if they wander, They will be kept safe wandering in our facility or gated patio area. If they get out a routine, our CNAs will help them get back on track with bathing, dressing, and sleep schedules.
We understand that this is a very heavy burden to carry at times. That is why we offer help. Here our residents can live in a safe, helpful, and encouraging environment. We know how serious this disease is and we are more than willing to help those that need care.
Call us at (801)763-0622 for more information or to schedule a tour.