Home Care for Echo Park Alzheimer’s Patients
What Is Alzheimer’s Disease?
Dementia is defined as a significant loss of cognition and memory. Individuals with dementia lose the ability to function in daily life. There’s more than one kind of dementia, but Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form.
The cause of Alzheimer’s disease remains a mystery. Scientists believe it may be due to:
- Lifestyle factors
- A combination of the above
They do know that the disease leads to abnormalities that damage the brain and cause it to shrink.
It is not only the elderly who can be affected by dementia. Early-onset Alzheimer’s disease can strike some younger individuals. The inability to remember new information is the first symptom for many.
Symptoms get worse as time passes. Alzheimer’s disease does not have a cure, but treatments can slow the progress of some symptoms. Researchers worldwide are working to find effective treatments and a cure.
One field of investigation involves looking at the lifestyle habits that help seniors stay healthy as they age. Clinical trials are underway to test the effect of each on brain health.
Good lifestyle habits include:
- Eating healthy food
- Social interactions
- Adequate sleep
- No smoking, illegal drugs, or excessive alcohol consumption
- Mental stimulation
The tests will determine which, if any, of these factors will reduce the risk of dementia.
Echo Park home care professionals can assist early-onset Alzheimer’s patients establish and maintain good lifestyle habits. Any improvement can potentially slow the progress of the disease. Even the most gravely ill individuals can benefit from someone conversing with them.
Although Alzheimer’s patients steadily lose their cognitive abilities, many survive physically for at least eight years after diagnosis. Their life span depends on their overall health, age, and severity of their symptoms. The level of care they receive is also an important factor in longevity.
Alzheimer’s patients nearly always do better at home than in a facility. However, family members frequently don’t have enough skills or time to adequately care for them. Professional home care often improves the quality of life for patients.
Options for home care for Alzheimer’s patients in the Echo Park area include:
- Companionship – which incorporates social events and interactions with others
- Personal care – assistance with hygiene, dressing, eating, and safe exercising
- Homemaking – shopping for food, preparing meals, housekeeping, and laundry
- Skilled nursing – includes all medical needs, physical therapy, and coordination with physicians and therapists.
All services are customized to fit the needs of patients and their family caregivers.
What Are the Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease?
The defining symptom of Alzheimer’s disease is the progressive decline of memory, thinking, and behavioral abilities. Specifics of the losses vary from individual to individual. The rate of decline also varies.
According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms often include:
- Frequent repetition of statements and questions
- Forgotten conversations or events
- Becoming lost in familiar places
- Inability to identify objects or choose words
- Inability to make decisions
As the disease progresses, individuals lose the ability to recognize family members and friends.
Home Care for Alzheimer’s Patients in The Echo Park Area
Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease is a daunting task for family members. As the individual continues to deteriorate, caregiving becomes an exhausting 24/7 job. Professional home care for Alzheimer’s patients in the Echo Park area provides the needed assistance for patients and their caregivers.
The decline in abilities that Alzheimer’s patients experience is more than mental and physical. Many also undergo changes in their behavior. Some individuals change so much that they are no longer recognizable to those who knew them pre-Alzheimer’s.
Home care for Alzheimer’s in Echo Park includes skilled services to help patients who experience:
- Depression and apathy
- Distrust and withdrawal
- Delusions or paranoia
- Mood swings
- Loss of inhibitions
- Other personality changes
For some patients, these conditions worsen in the evenings, leading to the “sundowner” phenomenon.
Alzheimer’s patients aren’t always able to communicate what’s happening with them. Echo Park home care professionals are able to observe and evaluate the condition of their clients. Their expertise prevents many minor problems from escalating into serious conditions.
They know what to do if an individual:
- Develops infections such as pneumonia
- Experiences pain
- Suffers side effects from medications
- Becomes malnourished or dehydrated
- Develops bedsores
Home care experts are experienced in administering first aid and CPR when necessary.
Families and friends help when they discuss the patient’s background and past with the home care professional. That assists in establishing a connection between patient and professional. Knowledge and connection lead to better care.
Components of the home care provided in Echo Park include, but are not limited to:
- Ensuring the safety of the patient at all times
- Allowing the patient as much independence as possible
- Respecting the dignity and privacy of the patient
Although their patients suffer from Alzheimer’s, home care professionals concentrate on the person rather than the disease.
The number of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease is increasing annually. Patients and their family caregivers are experiencing reduced quality of life issues, primarily due to stress. Home care for Alzheimer’s patients in the Echo Park area provides the support they and their families need.