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How Does Alzheimer’s Impact The Family

Why Does Dementia Affect Sleep

The impact of Alzheimer’s on a family

Problems with sleep are very common for people with dementia. They can include:

  • sleeping during the day and being awake and restless during the night
  • becoming disorientated in the dark if they wake up to use the toilet
  • waking up more often and staying awake longer during the night
  • getting up in the early hours and thinking its day time or time to go to work
  • not being able to tell the difference between night and day.

Nobody completely understands why dementia affects sleeping patterns. For some people, it may be that their internal biological clock, which judges what time it is, becomes damaged so the person starts to feel sleepy at the wrong time of day.

There are also other parts of the brain which control whether or not we stay awake, and these may also not work properly if they become damaged.

Sometimes a person with dementia might completely reverse their normal sleep pattern, staying up all night and then sleeping all day.

It’s common for people with dementia, especially in the later stages, to spend a lot of their time sleeping

Caregiving In The Middle Stages Of Alzheimers Or Dementia

As your loved ones Alzheimers disease or dementia symptoms progress, theyll require more and more careand youll need more and more support as their caregiver. Your loved one will gradually experience more extensive memory loss, may become lost in familiar settings, no longer be able to drive, and fail to recognize friends and family. Their confusion and rambling speech can make communicating more of a challenge and they may experience disturbing mood and behavior changes along with sleep problems.

Youll need to take on more responsibilities as your loved one loses independence, provide more assistance with the activities of daily living, and find ways of coping with each new challenge. Balancing these tasks with your other responsibilities requires attention, planning, and lots of support.

Ask for help. You cannot do it all alone. Its important to reach out to other family members, friends, or volunteer organizations to help with the daily burden of caregiving. Schedule frequent breaks throughout the day to pursue your hobbies and interests and stay on top of your own health needs. This is not being neglectful or disloyal to your loved one. Caregivers who take regular time away not only provide better care, they also find more satisfaction in their caretaking roles.

A Guideline For Navigating Changes In Family Dynamics

In order to cope with the change in dynamics, its important to face everything as a family with open communication, understanding and compassion. This battle is different for everyone, so its important to do what you can to help one another. To help you navigate the changes, keep some of the following points in mind.

  • Adjusting will not happen overnight. Just because you now know about the disease and have a plan in place doesnt mean you know everything there is to know. Alzheimers disease affects families and their loved ones differently, so your normal may change multiple times through the course of the disease. Take time to adjust and give yourself and other family members some grace.

  • People generally work better in numbers. If you or another family member need help with caregiving tasks, ask for help or step in to help. Is a family member having an emotionally hard time dealing with the diagnosis? Reach out and help them. Are household tasks getting put on the backburner? Take some time to help them clean.

  • Make sure everyone is on the same page. Again, communication is key. If your loved one is getting worse, tell your family. If there is something they need to step up and do, ask your family to help with it. If you learn something that makes your loved one with Alzheimers feel better, share that with other family members. Be a team and communicate to be better caregivers.

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When Someone You Love Has Alzheimer Disease

You might feel sad or angry or both if someone you love has Alzheimer disease. You might feel nervous around the person, especially if he or she is having trouble remembering important things or can no longer take care of himself or herself.

You might not want to go visit the person, even though your mom or dad wants you to. You are definitely not alone in these feelings. Try talking with a parent or another trusted adult. Just saying whats on your mind might help you feel better. You also may learn that the adults in your life are having struggles of their own with the situation.

If you visit a loved one who has Alzheimer disease, try to be patient. He or she may have good days and bad days. It can be sad if you cant have fun in the same ways together. Maybe you and your grandmother liked to go to concerts. If thats no longer possible, maybe bring her some wonderful music and listen together. Its a way to show her that you care and showing that love is important, even if her memory is failing.

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Paid And Unpaid Costs Of Care

Impact of Alzheimer

Payments by Medicare and Medicaid for health care, long-term care, and hospice for people with AD and other dementias were $150 billion in 2014, $236 billion in 2016, and are estimated to be $277 billion in 2018 . Although these agencies and private insurers do cover some of these costs, Medicare does not cover the entire cost of chronic care. If an AD patient requires chronic care, the maximum coverage by Medicare is just 150 d and involves deductibles and copayment for which the patient is responsible . In 2017, Medicare beneficiaries aged 65 or older with AD and other dementias paid $10,589 out of pocket, on average, for health-care and long-term care services not covered by other sources . AD patients also experience more hospitalizations than other people the same age, also increasing the financial burden to patients and family . People with AD or other dementias comprised 29.9% of individuals in adult day care in 2014, 39.6% of those living in residential care communities in 2014, 31.4% of those using the services of home health agencies in 2013, 44.7% of those in hospice in 2013, and 50.4% of those living in nursing homes in 2014 , all of which cost the patient and family a significant amount of money. A 2013 article claimed that AD is one of the costliest chronic diseases to society , and in 2014, the director of the Mayo Clinic Alzheimers Disease Research Center stated that If we dont get on top of , it will bankrupt the health-care system .

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Preserving Your Loved Ones Independence

Take steps to slow the progression of symptoms. While treatments are available for some symptoms, lifestyle changes can also be effective weapons in slowing down the diseases progression. Exercising, eating and sleeping well, managing stress, and staying mentally and socially active are among the steps that can improve brain health and slow the process of deterioration. Making healthy lifestyle changes alongside your loved one can also help protect your own health and counter the stress of caregiving.

Help with short-term memory loss. In the early stages, your loved one may need prompts or reminders to help them remember appointments, recall words or names, keep track of medications, or manage bills and money, for example. To help your loved one maintain their independence, instead of simply taking over every task yourself, try to work together as a partnership. Let your loved one indicate when they want help remembering a word, for example, or agree to check their calculations before paying bills. Encourage them to use a notebook or smartphone to create reminders to keep on hand.

Risk Factors And Prevention

Although age is the strongest known risk factor for dementia, it is not an inevitable consequence of ageing. Further, dementia does not exclusively affect older people young onset dementia accounts for up to 9% of cases. Studies show that people can reduce their risk of dementia by getting regular exercise, not smoking, avoiding harmful use of alcohol, controlling their weight, eating a healthy diet, and maintaining healthy blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Additional risk factors include depression, low educational attainment, social isolation, and cognitive inactivity.

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Reaching Out For Help

Unicity Healthcare is licensed as a Healthcare Service Firm by the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs . As experts in the homecare field, we understand that no two clients are the same, and, as such, we develop an individualized service plan, incorporating all aspects of the persons life and family. The steps involved in this process is vital in creating the Unicity Homecareapproach, one that stresses personalization, dedication and quality care.

Unicity Healthcare provides non-medical and medical homecare services to our clients. Our services are customized and range from a few hours per day to 24/7 . Our licensed, trained and experienced Home Health Aides can assist you or your loved one with maintaining a daily routine, from bathing, eating, socializing, or simply going for a walk outside.

Our mission is to help our clients stay in their familiar surroundings, remain independent and live an active, healthy, and happy life. All our services are provided by licensed aides , and supervised by a Registered Nurse, who, in collaboration with the client and his/her family, develops a customized plan of care. We also keep our clients families updated regularly on the situation of their loved ones, and we provide guidance when necessary.

The Progression Of Caring For A Loved One With Alzheimers

How a Dementia Diagnosis Can Affect a Family

In the early stages of a loved ones illness, many families marshal their forces and arrange to provide care in a home setting. Initially, the care required is fairly simple and may include giving helpful reminders, re-orienting the person to his or her surroundings, assisting with hygiene, and answering the same or similar question several times.

As the disease advances, a widening scope of symptoms will present themselves, often causing frustration and burn-out on the part of family members. To a significant degree, these reactions can be tempered if caregivers take the time to educate themselves about the disease and its usual symptoms. Patience also is critical, similar to whats needed when dealing with children who require varying amounts of time to learn certain principles.

Of course, in Alzheimers disease, many of those principles will never be fully learned by the loved one, making the need for patience and understanding all the more important.

In most situations, the time will come when caregiving family members must accept that they can no longer adequately look after their loved one. This is not admitting defeat. Rather its acknowledging the fact that the human brain is capable of changes that we can no longer understand, or come up with ways to best serve.

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What Is Known About Caregiving For A Person With Alzheimers Disease Or Another Form Of Dementia

People with Alzheimers disease and related dementias are usually cared for by family members or friends. The majority of people with Alzheimers disease and related dementias are receiving care in their homes. Each year, more than 16 million Americans provide more than 17 billion hours of unpaid care for family and friends with Alzheimers disease and related dementias. In 2019, these caregivers will provide an estimated 18.5 billion hours of care. Approximately two-thirds of dementia caregivers are women, about one in three caregivers is age 65 or older, and approximately one-quarter of dementia caregivers are sandwich generation caregivers, meaning that they care not only for an aging parent, but also for children under age 18.

Caregivers of people with Alzheimers and related dementias provide care for a longer duration than caregivers of people with other types of conditions . Well over half of family caregivers of people with Alzheimers and related dementias provide care for four years or more. More than six in ten Alzheimers caregivers expect to continue having care responsibilities for the next 5 years compared with less than half of caregivers of people without dementia .

The demands of caregiving can limit a caregivers ability to take care of themselves. Family caregivers of people with Alzheimers and related dementias are at greater risk for anxiety, depression, and poorer quality of life than caregivers of people with other conditions.

Dementia Affects The Whole Family

Carrie Steckl earned her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology with a Minor in Gerontology from Indiana University Bloomington in 2001.She has spent overRead More

I recently had the pleasure of speaking to a group of high school seniors about dementia. These were no ordinary students they were all members of an advanced placement psychology class taught by one of my favorite teachers when I was in high school. I knew they were already well-versed in basic psychology and brain anatomy, but I wasnt sure how much they had discussed dementia, either in class or at home.

What in the world would teenagers want to know about dementia? And perhaps most importantly, why should they care? Granted, I knew darn well that they should care about dementia the challenge was making this truth relevant and meaningful to them.

Its easy to see why society as a whole should care about dementia. According to the Alzheimers Associations 2013 Facts and Figures Report, an American develops Alzheimers disease every 68 seconds, and more than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimers disease right now. One in three older adults dies with Alzheimers disease or another dementia, and Alzheimers disease is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States. This year alone, Alzheimers disease will cost the United States $203 billion that number is expected to rise to $1.2 trillion by 2050 if a cure is not found.


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Small Changes Can Make A Real Difference

We all have our own biases and vulnerabilities. Research has shown that stigma is best challenged through understanding and interaction. Instead of trying to end stigma, it is much more helpful to talk about realistic small changes. We want to connect with the person with dementia as an individual, rather than their symptoms.

Stigma is one of the factors that leads to caregiver isolation. For example, for the past few years a client of mine has been caring for his wife who has Alzheimers dementia. Several years ago, a friend told him that she would not visit because she didnt like sick people. A few years have passed since that conversation, and my client continues to carry feelings of rejection and shame. Even if his friend did not mean to hurt him, her comment sent the message that someone who is sick with dementia isnt worth spending time with, and my client experienced stigma by association.

Inspiring Wellness Every Day At Lions Gate

Newly Diagnosed Dementia Family Support Seminar

Lions Gate, located in Voorhees, NJ, offers a continuum of lifestyle and care options rooted in Jewish traditions and values. Whether you are in need of Independent Living,Assisted Living, Memory Care, Skilled Nursing or Rehabilitation Services, Lions Gate has you covered.

Our mission at Lions Gate is to enrich the lives of those we serve through quality and compassionate care consistent with our heritage and values. We strive to provide programs and services that inspire well-being, as well as social, cultural and spiritual independence.

As a full-service community rich in wellness programs, meaningful experiences and educational opportunities from Lions Gate University, Lions Gate allows residents to connect with those who share their interests and cherished traditions. Our goal is to provide residents with an active, worry-free lifestyle filled with ways to connect with others, pursue their passions and be engaged in everyday life. While we focus on Jewish customs and traditions, we welcome people of all faiths to the Lions Gate family.

Through our affiliation with Jewish Senior Housing and Healthcare Service, we also offer three senior living communities for those with limited incomes.

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The Alzheimers And Dementia Care Journey

Caring for someone with Alzheimers disease or another type of dementia can be a long, stressful, and intensely emotional journey. But youre not alone. In the United States, there are more than 16 million people caring for someone with dementia, and many millions more around the world. As there is currently no cure for Alzheimers or dementia, it is often your caregiving and support that makes the biggest difference to your loved ones quality of life. That is a remarkable gift.

However, caregiving can also become all-consuming. As your loved ones cognitive, physical, and functional abilities gradually diminish over time, its easy to become overwhelmed, disheartened, and neglect your own health and well-being. The burden of caregiving can put you at increased risk for significant health problems and many dementia caregivers experience depression, high levels of stress, or even burnout. And nearly all Alzheimers or dementia caregivers at some time experience sadness, anxiety, loneliness, and exhaustion. Seeking help and support along the way is not a luxury its a necessity.

Just as each individual with Alzheimers disease or dementia progresses differently, so too can the caregiving experience vary widely from person to person. However, there are strategies that can aid you as a caregiver and help make your caregiving journey as rewarding as it is challenging.

Social And Economic Impact

Dementia has significant social and economic implications in terms of direct medical and social care costs, and the costs of informal care. In 2015, the total global societal cost of dementia was estimated to be US$ 818 billion, equivalent to 1.1% of global gross domestic product . The total cost as a proportion of GDP varied from 0.2% in low- and middle-income countries to 1.4% in high-income countries.

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