World Alzheimer’s Month is run by Alzheimer’s Disease International which is held every September. The event has been running since 2012, and September 21st is World Alzheimer’s day.
What is Alzheimer’s?
Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease, where dementia symptoms gradually worsen over a number of years. In its early stages, memory loss is mild, but with late-stage Alzheimer’s, individuals lose the ability to carry on a conversation and respond to their environment. The exact cause of Alzheimer’s disease is not yet fully understood.
Signs included for Alzheimer’s –
- Confusion, disorientation and getting lost in familiar places
- Problems moving around without assistance or performing self-care tasks
- Personality changes, such as becoming aggressive, demanding and suspicious of others
- Hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not there) and delusions (believing things that are untrue)
- Low mood or anxiety
How are people affected?
Carers are most likely to be affected mentally as they often feel the profound effect the role can have on their own lifestyle. Spending long hours providing care, juggling their own needs with those of the person they are caring for, and forfeiting their social time. As a result, carers of people with dementia are more likely to experience stress and depression.
Alzheimer’s can have a big impact on the person’s family. It is quite common for them to feel guilty, angry and even grief. They can feel guilty for the way the person with dementia was treated in the past, guilty at feeling embarrassed by their odd behaviour, guilty for lost tempers or guilty for not wanting the responsibility of caring for a person with dementia.
Treatments for looking after yourself whilst a family member has Alzheimer’s
If you’re experiencing signs of grief, guilt or anger and you feel you aren’t coping with the stress. Here are a few ways that could help.
- Share responsibility – making a list of everyone’s role and their responsibilities. This will help take a lot of pressure of yourself and the family.
- Meet regularly – This will help for you to meet regularly to discuss any concerns you have
- Communication – If you’re feeling angry or stressed, talking with family members together and being honest with each other.
At The Eaves, we have Counsellors, Psychotherapists and Psychologists that can offer help with bereavement, stress, guilt and anger. If you are looking for someone to speak to, you can contact our referrals team on 01483 917000 who would be more than happy to help you find a suitable therapist for your needs.