You think you know what Alzheimer’s entails. Your mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s years ago, and the progression has been steady. There are challenges you face that may not be something that comes to mind until it happens. Here are four of the symptoms family caregivers often face when Alzheimer’s progresses.
Difficulties with speech may be one of the first and more noticeable symptoms. As the disease progresses, your parent may struggle to complete sentences. It becomes hard to follow a conversation if sentences are not short and simple. Your mom or dad may talk slower or become frustrated and refuse to finish a sentence after forgetting a word.
As speech and language change, your mom or dad may have a hard time getting a message across. You may have to work carefully to understand visual cues as to what your parent needs.
Confusion is common and leads to other problems. On the simple end, your parent may have a hard time remembering what day of the week it is. It’s also normal to forget the month and year. As time goes on, your mom may forget her home address. Your dad can’t remember his phone number. That can be a huge problem if they get lost.
One of the things people don’t think about is confusion with normal household products. Your mom may grab a container of cleaning wipes thinking they are tissues. She gets the cleaner in her eyes. Your dad might grab rubbing alcohol thinking it’s mouthwash. You need to get harsh chemicals locked away or out of the house.
Paranoia is also a symptom that happens as Alzheimer’s progresses. Your mom may become convinced that a neighbor is stalking her. Delusions affect Alzheimer’s patients, too. Your dad might refuse to leave the home because he imagines he got into a fight with the neighbor. He saw it in a movie or on a TV show and believes it happened to him.
Not every Alzheimer’s patient will wander. The Alzheimer’s Association estimates that 60 percent of those with Alzheimer’s will wander at some point. The scary truth is that not every Alzheimer’s patient who wanders away is ever found.
Wandering can happen at any time. Your dad may decide he needs something at the store and walks off. If he can access a car, he may try to drive there. Your mom may wake up in the middle of the night, not recognize her surroundings, and try to walk “home.”
When you’re caring for a parent with Alzheimer’s, you need help. Respite care is one of the many home care services that will help you provide the best care for your mom or dad.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elder care in Skokie, IL, contact the caring staff at Companion Services of America today at (847) 943-3786. Our home care service area includes Northbrook, Highland Park, Deerfield, Glenview, Buffalo Grove, Evanston, Des Plaines, Skokie, Lake Forest, Wilmette and the surrounding areas.