What is Alzheimer’s?
Alzheimer’s disease is defined as the kind of dementia that affects the memory of a person. It causes behavioral changes and sometimes becomes the reason for complete memory loss. It does not only affect memory but also thought and language as it is a degenerative brain disease. It deals with memory impairment and cognitive functions by causing brain changes that become worse over time. It interferes with routine life, and the symptoms keep growing with the passage of time if left uncontrolled. Let’s explore the next steps to follow after Alzheimer’s diagnosis.
Symptoms of dementia and Alzheimer’s range from mild to severe and are split into 7 stages. Starting stages do not affect much, and a person with Alzheimer’s may live independently. Those who make their lifestyle healthy from starting stages are more likely to face fewer problems and limit the progression of the disease. However, this disease is progressive and symptoms worsen with the passage of time. A patient may need more help and assistance to deal with the symptoms of Alzheimer’s over time. They may experience sleep problems, agitation, confusion, wandering, and many other behavioral changes that lead to the progression of the disease. Yet, they still have a chance to cope with dementia and Alzheimer’s by following a healthy lifestyle and continue in a mild stage of the disease. However, those at their last stages of Alzheimer’s are more likely to be more affected and need full-time supervision and care. Their capability to think, work, and communicate have been lost. The progression of their disease is in the severe stage. Therefore, they need assistance with walking, dressing, bathing, feeding, and a lot more.
The common life expectancy of a person diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia is around 3 to 11 years once they have been diagnosed. Life expectancy varies from person to person and their condition’s severity. Other people may live for more than 20 years after diagnosis. Many environmental, hormonal, and stress factors affect the severity of the condition.
There are vascular risk factors, including hypertension, which increase the rate of progression of Alzheimer’s if left untreated. People with Alzheimer’s and dementia usually die due to pneumonia, falls, dehydration, infections, malnutrition, and other injuries.
Emotional Effects of Early Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s
It’s natural that a person feels emotionally drained after the diagnosis of any disease. Alzheimer’s is no less to give you depression and stress. But all hope does not need to be lost, life isn’t over until it’s over.
People diagnosed with dementia and Alzheimer’s may feel shocked, angry, fearful, or a wide range of emotions. These are primarily behavioral and emotional changes. These changes affect the personality of a patient negatively. Also, patients may feel the difference in the behavior of their loved ones towards them. This emotional turmoil triggers stress, anxiety, and depression. It worsens the symptoms of a patient with Alzheimer’s. Another crucial thing to notice that deals with your sentiments is that Alzheimer’s has no powerful cure and treatment. However, if you’re diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, you need to deal with it smartly. A few treatments are available to control symptoms and the progression of the disease. Thus, you need to invest your time and energy in order to deal with Alzheimer’s and treat yourself. Let’s discover how to cope with it.
How to Cope?
Here are some ways that help you cope with Alzheimer’s and dementia diagnosis.
Be Kind to Yourself
Firstly, you need to understand that a disease is not your own fault. You should not blame yourself due to any disease. However, Alzheimer’s needs your attention, care, and assistance to reduce the symptoms. You have to inhibit its progression. Try not to be harsh on yourself and follow the guidelines accordingly to cure Alzheimer’s.
Adopt a Healthy Environment
Simple precautions can help you preserve your health for a long period of time. You may forget things and deal with memory problems, so you need to adopt a healthy environment that assists you along the way with your Alzheimer’s. You have to keep essential things near you, such as keys, notes, and other crucial things. There are smartphone apps that remind you about related things and help you stay organized. You should go for such apps to make your life a bit easier. Make your environment as per your disease demands.
Counseling and Therapy
If you feel hesitation in a social gathering, you should approach spiritual counseling. Counselors and therapists are available to treat you according to your disease and current condition. You can speak your heart to them and feel light and fresh.
Contact Alzheimer’s Organization
There are Alzheimer’s organizations that provide assistance by support programs for those who deal with dementia and its types. In these support programs, you may feel the strength and knowledge that many other people face the same challenges as you. You may find companionship there with people who advise you according to your current condition. It is how you will get social engagement with the people dealing with the same problem as you and feel empathy, strength, and willingness to continue.
A healthy lifestyle plays a very significant role in the prevention of AD. Cardiovascular risk factors increase because of dementia and can be controlled by physical activity. Increased physical activity and working out up to 150 minutes per week is ideal prevention for Alzheimer’s.
A healthy diet plays a crucial role when it comes to dealing with Alzheimer’s as there is no proper cure. Plenty of fruits and veggies are considered a healthy and balanced diet that should be added to the meal for the person dealing with Alzheimer’s. Dementia patients should limit the refined grains and processed food as they are not sufficient for overall health (that can be affected by dementia). Limit smoking, alcohol, and fast food. 8 to 9 hours of sleep is a must for a person suffering from Alzheimer’s.
The symptoms of Alzheimer’s will be worsened by unchecked stress, the memory area of the brain will be shrunk, and it inhibits nerve cell growth. Stress management techniques should be adopted to ease stress and promote a relieved brain.
Try to explore new things and challenge your brain. Those who don’t use their brain with the help of learning, reading, or exploring may lose their capacity. Keeping your mind active can help you improve your cognitive skills.
Communicate with your Loved Ones
Talking to your loved ones relieves stressful thoughts and helps your brain function more. Let your loved ones know if you need their help. Get your medical appointments done with the help of your family. Those who keep their process ongoing and communicate with someone they love are more likely to deal with Alzheimer’s and dementia in a healthier way.
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