5 Things That Can Worsen Alzheimer’s Symptoms

Female caregiver offers to drink to the older woman
When a caregiver comes out with an older woman for a walk, she always takes a plastic bottle with water.

While there are particular commonalities, Alzheimer’s disease affects every individual differently. Our specially trained dementia caregivers know, for example, that although someone may enjoy being outside, another person may be overloaded by so much sensory input and prefer a quieter indoor environment. One person may prefer a morning bath routine, while a dose of creativity is essential to help another manage good hygiene.

We also realize there are specific triggers which can often worsen the challenging components of Alzheimer’s symptoms. Family care providers should be especially careful in order to prevent the following:

1. Dehydration. Those diagnosed with dementia may not be in a position to recognize when they’re thirsty, or may refuse when offered fluids. It’s crucial to ensure appropriate hydration in order to avoid additional confusion and weakness. Plain water is most beneficial, nonetheless, if refused, try flavored waters, as well as different sorts of cups or bottles.

2. Isolation. People who have dementia experience loneliness as much as anyone else, and without adequate social stimulation, could become progressively agitated or paranoid. An experienced care provider, like those at Heaven at Home Senior Care, who are thoroughly trained in dementia care, can provide suitable socialization, giving members of the family a much-needed break from care.

3. Sugar. It’s common for people with Alzheimer’s disease to have a heightened appetite for cookies, cake, as well as other sugary snacks, but too much sugar could result in additional irritability. Try offering a variety of healthier options, such as fruit or yogurt, or sugar-free goodies.

4. Sleeping pills. With the challenges of common sleep issues such as sundowning, it is often tempting for family members to offer sleeping pills to a loved one with Alzheimer’s to encourage a more restful night. However, they raise the risk for falls and other injuries and add to confusion and fogginess. Talk to the senior’s health care provider for an all-natural sleep-inducing alternative.

5. TV. Be mindful of what’s on TV; shows containing crime, violence, as well as the nightly news can instill fear and paranoia in individuals diagnosed with dementia. It may be far better to leave the television off and engage your loved one in alternative activities, such as games, puzzles, reading together, exercising, and reminiscing – or choose to watch videos you’ve carefully evaluated to ensure content is suitable.

Every member of our dementia care team is professionally trained and experienced in providing person-centered, thoughtful care to effectively manage the issues inherent with Alzheimer’s symptoms, and to increase total wellbeing. Contact us online or call us at 866-381-0500 for additional dementia care tips, and for an in-home consultation to discover how our Plano home health services providers can help you. Click here to view our full service area.