Private Care Home Nursing: Caring for Alzheimer’s Patients

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia, a brain disorder that gets worse over time affecting memory, thinking, and behavior. The neurodegenerative disease usually is the cause of 60–70 percent of cases of dementia. Dementia is a prevalent condition in Arab countries, ranging between 1.1 percent and 2.3 percent among age groups of 50 years and older, as well as between 13.5 percent and 18.5 percent among age groups of 80 years and above. According to the World Alzheimer Report, an estimated 55 million people are living with dementia globally. By 2050, 153 million people are expected to be living with dementia worldwide largely due to population growth and population ageing. Dementia cases will rise in every country, with the largest growth in North Africa and the Middle East (367 percent) and eastern sub-Saharan Africa (357 percent).   Globally, more women are affected by dementia than men. In 2019, women with dementia outnumbered men with dementia 100 to 69. This pattern is expected to remain in 2050. In 2019, the total global societal cost of dementia was estimated to be US$1.3 trillion. That year, Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia ranked as the seventh leading cause of death.

In September 2022, the Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) Federation, said cases of dementia were growing in the MENA region “at a rate higher than anywhere else in the world.” There are 10 million new cases of dementia every year, according to the UN-backed agency.  At least 35 percent of caregivers globally said that they have hidden the diagnosis of dementia of a family member, according to the ADI. By 2050, the Middle East and North Africa could be dealing with many more elderly people suffering from dementia. A lack of facilities, specialists and local knowledge means the region is woefully underprepared.

A leading doctor has provided tips to healthcare providers for caring the Alzheimer’s patients. Dr. Enaam Abdalgleel, Medical Director at Private Care Center for Home Nursing, says home care plays a vital role in improving the quality of life for patients and supporting them to stay in their familiar environment and maintain their independence as much as possible. The Center provides services for the elderly and Alzheimer’s patients including continuous medical care in collaboration with specialized doctors and hospitals. It offers specialized psychological and social support for each patient and their family to deal with the psychological and social challenges associated with the disease, and rehabilitation and activation programs designed specifically to help patients maintain their skills and social interaction. “Our vision is to be a trusted partner for families in their journey of caring for the elderly and Alzheimer’s patients, and we always seek to achieve this vision in the best possible ways,” she said. She offered valuable tips that will help caregivers manage the daily tasks of caring for Alzheimer’s patients effectively and balanced

1- Smart planning: Daily planning should be based on wisdom and a deep understanding of the patient’s condition. Prioritize tasks and appointments carefully, and allocate the necessary time for each task.

2- Encouraging participation: Despite the challenges the patient may face, encourage them to participate as much as possible in daily tasks. Use simple and clear instructions to enable them to understand the steps and tasks.

3- Providing choices: Offer multiple options for the patient in performing daily tasks, enhancing their sense of control and independence. Ensure to provide moderate and suitable choices for their health condition.

4- Rest: Don’t forget the importance of giving the patient rest periods during daily activities. This allows them to regain energy and focus better on remaining tasks.

5- Effective communication: Communication between the caregiver and the patient should always be effective and clear. Allow the patient to express their needs and listen attentively.

6- Flexibility: Remember that today is not always like previous days, so be flexible in dealing with changing situations and adapt plans according to the patient’s current needs.

As time passes, individuals with Alzheimer’s disease become more independent, and adapting to their changes becomes essential to maintaining their safety and psychological well-being. If you are caring for someone with Alzheimer’s, let’s talk about the importance of practicing flexibility in caregiving. For example, if the person prefers to wear the same clothes every day, buying some matching outfits may be the optimal solution. We should also be prepared to change routines and expectations over time according to their new needs. Alzheimer’s disease is a significant barrier that affects decision-making and problem-solving abilities, increasing the risk of accidents.

We must prioritize safety and dedicate our efforts to creating a safe environment by:

  • Preventing falls: Providing secure carpets, organizing wires, and installing handrails in hazardous areas.
  • Using locks: Securing medications and hazardous materials in closed cabinets.
  • Checking water temperature: Adjusting water temperature to avoid burns.
  • Fire precautions: By storing flammable materials away and continuously monitoring smoking.
  • Each Alzheimer’s patient exhibits symptoms and progresses differently. Therefore, care should be tailored to their individual needs, focusing on providing the necessary personal support for them and their family.
  • Patience, flexibility, self-care, and support from friends and family can help you deal with upcoming challenges and frustrations, making the caregiving journey more effective and positive for everyone.

Source:  Private Care Home Nursing