It isn’t the news anybody wants. When you’re faced with an Alzheimer’s diagnosis it can be difficult to know what to do or where to turn. Our blog for World Alzheimer’s Day explores more what can be done to help someone coping with Alzheimer’s.
It can be a very scary diagnosis and opens up all kinds of questions and worries. Feelings of hopelessness are very common following this news. Therapy can help you with acceptance and learning how to live with it. It can also help caregivers and loved ones of those living with the disease to adjust their perspective and help them through it.
Living with Alzheimer’s
Part of this is knowing and accepting there are certain things beyond your control, but there are techniques to help manage it.
Keeping physically well can help to slow deterioration. This is the ‘usual’ things like…
- Eat well
- Sleep well
- Take exercise
It can also help to challenge you brain, by doing things like crosswords and puzzles, as well as keeping involved in social activities.
In terms of mental health issues, anxiety and depression are common amongst Alzheimer suffers. This can be sparked by coping with a diagnosis, worry about what might happen in the future etc. Therapeutic approaches that would usually be used to treat anxiety and depression can be employed similarly for people living with dementia, with sessions adapted as required to suit the individual’s needs (e.g. using prompt cards). This tends to work best for those in the early and mid stages of the disease.
The tools and techniques learned in therapy can help sufferers when they are overwhelmed, helping them to stay positive and focused on their goals.
Coping as a caregiver
If a loved one has been diagnosed, you may be faced with some challenging times ahead. As they deteriorate, you may need to step up into a role as a caregiver. This can be a hard and demanding role and, although you love the person, you may begin to find it difficult to cope. You may even start resenting them. This does not make you a bad person. It is a cruel illness and not fair to anyone. But the person you love is still in there; this is a not a decision they have made. Having someone you can talk openly with can help.
Amid this, you should make time for self-care. Taking time for yourself helps ensure you do not ‘go under’ and will actually help you to better to care for them.
This new role, as well as the thought of loosing a loved one, can cause anxiety and depression. There are many therapies that can help with this.
Alzheimer’s is tough on all involved. We may be able to help you better cope with it.
Contact us or book a free private and confidential 15 minute telephone consultation here.
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