INTERVENTION OF THOSE THAT CARE FOR ALZHEIMER OR DEMENTIA SUFFERERS
IN THE INICIAL PHASE
In this phase of the illness, the sufferer can maintain a and autonomous existence in the home under the supervision of a family member, neighbor or another person. There is usually no problem for dressing, washing or preparing simple meals.
- This is the moment to establish a security plan for the sufferer.
- If the person wishes to control their own medication, they have to be supervised. If they wish to control the economy, they have to be controlled (shopping, commercial scams, etc.). They may need to use an agenda for doctor’s appointments etc. If they still drive, they will have to be convinced so as not to continue driving.
- This is the moment to get in touch with Associations of Family Sufferers to obtain information and help in the planning of the sufferers care.
- This requires establishing a system for carers for supervising and controlling these situations.
- Information regarding technical measures and tracking devices to be used in case of disorientation or getting lost.
- Knowledge of the illness, ways in which to communicate with the patient, formulas for resolving legal problems (wills etc.).
- It is very important to maintain the activity of the patient in order to maintain them active as long as possible. There is a lot of material in Internet to consult in order to practice psycho stimulation, such as, for example, workbooks that the Foundation Ace produce, Cognitive Stimulation workbooks (Esteve), Rubio workbooks “Estimula tu Mente”, etc.
A “normal life” with occasional help is possible in the home.
- If you have still not done so, now is the moment to get in touch with Associations of Family Sufferers and other social resources.
- You must now establish a system of carers to control and plan the daily care of the sufferer. You could take into consideration the use of Day Centres or other programmes for family respite.
- You must obtain information regarding technical measures, public help and pagers in case of disorientation or getting lost.
- Knowledge of the illness and conduct disorders associated with this, communication, adaptation of the home and other considerations regarding your treatment of the sufferer.
- It is of vital importance to maintain the sufferer active as far as possible, in order to maintain their life style. This may mean very simple, basic activities such as talking to them, playing music, encouraging visits out of the home and having family members, neighbours or friends visit (having warned these visitors previously what to expect).
ADVANCED, SEVER PHASE
This is a phase characterized by total dependence on help for all daily activities: washing, hygiene, eating etc.
- This is the moment to ask for nursing and physiotherapy assessment in order to know more about the essential care and mobilization of the sufferer.
- Maybe collect information about home assistance and/or residential possibilities.
- It is very important to observe closely the skin condition, be extremely careful with daily hygiene, maintain a quiet, peaceful environment, take care of dressing and aspect, change positions regularly, play music etc.
- It is very important to encourage visits by family members, friends and neighbours, having explained previously the situation regarding the sufferer. This is very positive for the carer and avoids loneliness and isolation from outside the home.