Celebrate The Caregiver And Alzheimer’s Awareness In November
Posted by Accutech on January 1, 1970 12:00 am
November is National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness/Family Caregiver Month. Do you have a friend or family member with Alzheimer’s disease or do you know a caregiver? Some 5.3 million Americans currently are diagnosed with Alzheimer's so chances are you do.
What will you do to honor them?
Alzheimer’s is a devastating disease and deeply impacts both the patient and family. Early onset can be a depressing time as the patient is still aware enough to know what’s ahead and may feel powerless and despondent.
November is when we honor the caregiver and Alzheimer's patient.
For the family the feelings can be much the same. Knowing what resources are available is crucial for both patients and families to help with the issues that will arise now and in the future.
But for now there are things you can do for them:
- Sit with an Alzheimer’s patient. If possible ask them to tell you about their lives, their memories or their families. Many of them will be able to call up memories from long ago while not being aware of the present.
- Play music for them. If possible choose music from their early lives. It’s been shown that this can trigger an positive emotional response.
- Touch them. Physical contact can be reassuring and comforting. Tactile sensations reduce anxiety and may be one of their last links to the world.
- Give them their favorite food. Often a care facility resident will be given food they just don’t enjoy. With permission, give them a square of chocolate or a salty snack.
- Create a memory package. Gather things together that have meaning for the patient. Photocopy photographs, letters, cards or even newspaper clippings and make a memory book that they can touch and will withstand repeated viewings.
What about caregivers?
The Alzheimer’s Association released The Shriver Report: A Woman’s Nation Takes Alzheimer’s earlier this year and found that 27% of American’s have someone in their family with Alzheimer’s and most primary caregivers (and patients) are women. They provide almost 40 hours a week caring for a family member with Alzheimer’s.
This means they can be overworked and overburdened. So take the time to show them you appreciate what they’re doing.
- Offer to sit with their family member on a weekly basis. Knowing that they have an hour or more to look forward to can make a huge difference.
- Let them talk to you. Often a caregiver feels guilty when they experience resentment or anger that they have to shoulder the burden of care. These are natural feelings so listen without judgment.
- Bring dinner from time to time. Nothing says you care like a big pot of soup and it sure beats frozen pizza.
The Alzheimer’s Association celebrates patients and caregivers for their journeys. You can go to their website and write a memorial, a thank you or acknowledgement to commerate a patient or caregiver.
Accutech salutes all caregivers who give of themselves to our loved ones both at home and at care facilities. They go above and beyond to look after those who can’t care for themselves. We also express our empathy for the journey taken by anyone who suffers from Alzheimer’s. You will find your way home.