World Alzheimer’s Month runs through September every year and started back in 2012. Its pinnacle is World Alzheimer’s Day, which is held annually on September 21st.
Alzheimer’s Disease is a condition that many people require care for and one that most home carers will have experience in. No two sufferers of Alzheimer’s present symptoms in the same way, which makes it one of the most difficult and complicated health conditions for care workers to treat and provide support with.
What is World Alzheimer’s Month About?
World Alzheimer’s Month is an extension of World Alzheimer’s Day, which was launched originally at a conference of the ADI (Alzheimer’s Disease International) as a way of bringing together industry experts, care providers, sufferers and their families to share best practice, explore research options and to raise awareness of the condition at all levels; from the government to the general public.
For home carers, World Alzheimer’s Month is often an opportunity for professional development training and extra learning. It also raises the opportunity to help increase awareness with those not ‘in the industry’ to better understand and educate themselves on Alzheimer’s Disease and what caring for someone with it can entail.
What is Alzheimer’s Disease?
Alzheimer’s Disease is a progressive brain disorder that, over time, degrades the brain of its cognitive functions. It is named after Dr Alois Alzheimer, who noticed the degeneration of brain tissue in a patient of his who died of a mental illness he had never before seen in his professional career. The post-mortem examination found ‘tangles’ of brain matter and fibres.
Alzheimer’s Disease is a form of dementia and is irreversible. Similarly to other forms of dementia, it is most common in those aged over 65. Whilst life-limiting, most of those who suffer from more advanced Alzheimer’s live for many years with sufficient specialist care, and won’t die as a direct result of the disease.
Whilst often considered an ‘old person’s’ disease, this isn’t necessarily always the case. Early onset Alzheimer’s can happen from age 30+ and The Alzheimer’s Society estimate that over 40,000 people are currently living in the UK with the disease but are younger than 65.
It may be more difficult to get a diagnosis for Alzheimer’s if not aged 65+, but medical professionals will be able to work with individuals on a long-term basis to ascertain the correct level of the disease and any support required.
What are the Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease?
Alzheimer’s Disease has several symptoms that worsen over time. It may be difficult to differentiate those suffering from Alzheimer’s to those with other forms of dementia, but initial symptoms include:
- Confusion and disorientation
- Memory loss
- Problems with speech and language (including word recall)
- Sudden but temporary personality changes
- Difficulties with completing simple tasks, including self-care.
All of these symptoms may be temporary or sporadic.
Carers are able to monitor symptoms over time and report back on the progressive and degenerative nature of the disease. Indeed care workers are often asked to work with medical professionals to help track the level of Alzheimer’s onset over time.
How You Can Best Care for Someone with Alzheimer’s Disease
Carers are able to work with sufferers to keep them caring for themselves in the way they should, as well as to mediate their mood and keep them emotionally stable. Whilst there is no cure for Alzheimer’s, there are pharmaceutical interventions that can help stabilise the symptoms.
With good care, there is no reason why someone with Alzheimer’s Disease wouldn’t be able to live an independent life. In cases of an individual with advanced Alzheimer’s, safety is key – a good carer will take on safeguarding duties as well as compassionate service.
Support for Carers of those with Alzheimer’s Disease
Many carers of those with Alzheimer’s Disease aren’t qualified carers – they’re often family members, friends or guardians.
If you are looking for support to ease the burden of Alzheimer’s care, contact us at AM2PM Quality Care.
Our visiting home care services enable your loved one to live comfortably in their own home whilst essentially maintaining their independence. Our personal care program allows you or your loved one to manage a personal schedule, enabling us to be available at any moment to meet your needs. We create custom plans for our clients around the 24-hour day, adjusted according to our free assessment.
Our solutions are not only cost-effective, but provide the highest value to our clients because they provide assistance when it is needed.