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World’s Alzheimer’s Day 2019: The Importance of Specialist Alzheimer Care

Alzheimer’s disease is one of the most common causes of dementia in the UK. With World Alzheimer’s Day 2019 on 21 September this year, we thought we’d do our bit to raise awareness. So, we’re going to take a look at some of the early signs of Alzheimer’s disease and provide a few tips about how to provide specialist Alzheimer’s care at home.

What is Alzheimer’s disease?

In Alzheimer’s disease, changes occur in the brain that you would not typically see with normal ageing. That includes the build-up of two proteins, which disrupt how the nerve cells in the brain communicate with each other. Eventually, more and more nerve cells in the brain become damaged, leading to the symptoms we associate with dementia.

What are the early warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease?

For most people, the first sign of Alzheimer’s is a problem with their memory. Very few of us have the same memory as we did when we were 21, but those with Alzheimer’s find it particularly difficult to learn new information and recall events. Usually, the ability to recall things that happened a long time ago is not affected in the early stages, which can make it seem like everything’s okay.  

Things to look out for include:

  • Losing items around the house
  • Forgetting a friend’s name or struggling to find the right word
  • Forgetting recent conversations
  • Getting lost in familiar places
  • Forgetting appointments and important dates

People in the early stages of Alzheimer’s can also experience changes in their mood and become anxious, depressed or annoyed for reasons that aren’t immediately obvious.

How to care for Alzheimer’s patients at home

People with dementia caused by Alzheimer’s require increasing levels of care in later life, which means many families look for assistance as the disease progresses. However, in the early days, many families want to give their loved ones the best possible care at home.

If you’re caring for someone with dementia, here are a few tips that can be tailored to meet the specific needs of your loved one:

  • Establish a routine – Create a daily routine that really works for you and your loved one. Tasks such as bathing, attending appointments and getting out and about are likely to be easier earlier in the day when they are more alert and refreshed.
  • Give them choice – Give your loved one some choice, but not too much, every day. For example, let them choose between two outfits, a hot or cold drink or whether you go for a walk to the shops or the park.
  • Limit napping – Avoid prolonged napping during the day as it can blur the distinction between day and night.
  • Provide as little assistance as possible – Allow your loved one to do as much for themselves as possible. For example, if they can set the table or dress themselves then encourage them to do so.

The importance of specialist Alzheimer care

Every person with Alzheimer’s disease will experience its symptoms and progression differently. That’s why our specialist dementia care is so valuable. Our dementia trained care staff provide 24-hour support and social interaction, stimulation and activities in a safe, comfortable and friendly environment.

Find out more about our approach to caring for dementia in our dementia guide or get in touch to book an appointment to visit your nearest dementia care home.  

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