What is Alzheimer’s?
Alzheimer’s disease is a degenerative brain disorder that progressively gets worse over time. It’s characterised by changes in the brain that lead to deposits of certain proteins affecting the brain cells. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia – a gradual decline in memory, thinking, behaviour and social skills. These changes affect a person’s ability to function independently.
According to the Alzheimer’s Society, over 850,000 people in the U.K. live with dementia. 75% of those people have an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, making it a common condition that is on the increase.
While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s at this time, it is possible to live well with the disease given the right care and support.
Our carers, trained in caring for those with Alzheimer’s, can remind and encourage your loved one about daily tasks such as personal hygiene and taking their medication. They also provide proactive practical support such as doing the laundry, shopping and preparing meals and reminding your loved one to drink enough.
Proper nutrition and hydration are particularly important to protect against other health complications. Mealtimes can be difficult for people with Alzheimer’s. Our experienced carers know how to create a calm environment, prepare the types of meals that your loved one will enjoy, and assist them in eating.
As Alzheimer’s progresses, it can cause changes in behaviour and personality. Our compassionate carers are trained and experienced in supporting these symptoms. With one-to-one care and support from a Country Cousins carer your loved one will develop a relationship with their caregiver, providing continuity of care to minimise confusion and upset. Our expert carers are trained and experienced in dealing with the sudden changes in behaviour that Alzheimer’s can present.
People with Alzheimer’s often get confused about time, place, where they should be, or what they need to do. Our carers provide help with calendar management, establish daily routines, give assistance getting around, and reassure any fears they might be feeling. People with Alzheimer’s can often wander, causing worry for loved ones. With a Country Cousins carer by your loved one’s side, you can rest assured that they are safe and happy.
Country Cousins carers provide support where it’s most needed. Sometimes that may be medical care and sometimes it may be practical support. Our carers can provide help around the home with tasks such as cleaning and tidying, collecting prescriptions, or walking the dog. Our expert carers know how to include the client in as many tasks as possible to retain independence and confidence.
Companionship and interaction are just as important as medical care for Alzheimer’s patients. Our friendly and reliable carers will establish a bond with your loved one, encouraging conversation and friendship. They can assist and encourage your loved one in social activities, visiting the shops, or going for a walk in the park. Country Cousins’ carers are more than just carers, they will become like one of the family.
Early-stage Alzheimer’s care
This is the time to start planning for your loved one’s future care. Symptoms may be fairly mild and centre around forgetfulness and disorientation. Learn about the condition by seeking advice from your GP and Alzheimer’s organisations such as the Alzheimers Society or the Alzheimer’s Association. At this stage in the condition, it’s important to encourage as much social activity, exercise and cognitive engagement as possible to delay the progression as much as possible.
Middle-stage Alzheimer’s care
This is typically the longest stage and can last for many years. The person with Alzheimer’s will require a greater level of care as symptoms become more pronounced. For many families, this is the time when regular professional care is needed. As routine and consistency are key, introducing a professional carer at this stage is critical to your loved one’s ability to form a bond and accept the care given to them before the more advanced stages set in.
A Country Cousins carer can help with daily household and personal hygiene tasks, prevent wandering, offer companionship, and promote interests and activities that engage and soothe.
Late-stage Alzheimer’s care
The late stages of Alzheimer’s are characterised by a steep deterioration in the sufferer’s condition and they will require 24-hour care that covers daytime and nighttime support. Carers will assist with things like continence, eating and drinking, monitoring weight, nighttime supervision and preparing tailored meals that the person is able to consume. With the help of a live-in Country Cousins carer your loved one is still able to live in the comfort of their own home given the right care and support.
Do people with Alzheimer’s need 24-hour care?
Alzheimer’s can be slow in its progression. It is not uncommon for someone to have a 20-year life expectancy from the point of diagnosis. The right type of care that your loved one needs, as well as support for the family, will depend on each individual case.
However, in the middle and late stages of Alzheimer’s advanced 24-hour care is often needed to support with things like continence, eating and drinking, soothing and comforting, and to prevent risky behaviours like night-time wandering.
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How do you care for someone with Alzheimer’s?
Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s is no easy task. The stage of the illness, personal circumstances, and home living situation will all determine if it is possible to care for your loved one at home. Understanding the different stages and how the disease progresses, as detailed above, will help you to understand what type of care your loved one needs.
Can a person with Alzheimer’s be left on their own?
Early-stage Alzheimer’s can present mild symptoms of confusion and memory loss. At this stage, it may be possible to leave the person alone for short periods of time. However, each case should be assessed carefully, and risks are taken into account such as the likelihood of the person wandering, or doing dangerous things in the home, like forgetting to turn the oven off.
Will I need to make any home adaptations before starting home care?
Home adaptations may not be necessary, depending on the home environment and home care available. Involving a home-care organisation, like Country Cousins, or an Occupational Therapist will assist you in making decisions about adaptations through a professional assessment of your loved one’s abilities and care needs.
What’s the difference between Alzheimer’s and dementia?
Dementia is a general term used to classify a collection of brain disorders that affect cognitive function. Dementia causes a loss of short and long-term memory, a lack of ability to concentrate and make decisions, and an inability to control emotions and communicate clearly.
There are many causes and types of dementia. Alzheimer’s disease is just one type, but it is the most common cause of dementia globally and in the UK. It is a specific degenerative brain disease that causes dementia.
How to arrange Alzheimer’s care
If your loved one is living with Alzheimer’s and you are considering care options, get in touch with us. At Country Cousin’s we’ve been supporting people with Alzheimer’s to live safe and peaceful lives in the comfort of their own homes for over 60 years.
Our Alzheimer’s care and specially trained carers can give you the support your loved one, and you and the family, need at this challenging time. We offer a free enquiry service with absolutely no obligation.
Three simple steps to receiving live-in care
1. Call Us
Call us and have a no obligation, confidential, conversation with one of our team to discuss your care needs.
You will go into more detail with a member of our expert care team who will take the time to really understand your requirements.
3. Begin Care
Our highly skilled team of Customer Relationship Executives will then identify and match you with the perfect live-in carer.