World Alzheimer’s Day is on September 21st 2017
World Alzheimer’s Month takes place every September to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. This year’s campaign is focusing on the importance of early detection and diagnosis.
21st September marks World Alzheimer’s Day, when charities, organisations and individuals around the globe can concentrate their efforts on raising awareness. You can find out more about the events going on worldwide and how you can get involved here: https://www.alz.co.uk/world-alzheimers-month.
With this in mind, we thought it was the ideal time to explore the impact of Alzheimer’s disease on family life and the support available to those in need.
What is Alzheimer’s disease?
For those less aware of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, Alzheimer’s Society explains that: “The word ‘dementia’ describes a set of symptoms that may include memory loss and difficulties with thinking, problem-solving or language, and often changes in mood, perception or behaviour.”
There are many different types of dementia, with Alzheimer’s disease being the most common cause. It’s a physical disease that affects the brain, as proteins build up in the brain that result in the loss of connections between nerve cells, leading to the death of nerve cells and the loss of brain tissue.
Although there is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, medication is available to help relieve symptoms.
According to Alzheimer’s Society, there are more than 520,000 people in the UK with the disease.
How can Alzheimer’s disease impact family life?
The diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease can be shocking, distressing and emotional for both the individual and their family and friends. Unfortunately, as Alzheimer’s Disease International argues, there is still a stigma associated with the disease, not to mention a great deal of misinformation surrounding it, particularly in less educated areas around the world.
So, it’s understandable that caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease, whether newly diagnosed or not, can be extremely difficult.
As a carer, it’s important to keep things as normal as possible for your loved one, so they can remain as independent as they can for as long as possible. This can require tasks and chores to be simplified, or establishing a daily routine at home for all to follow. Alzheimer’s Disease International has put together a list of tips that have worked for other carers here: https://www.alz.co.uk/adi/pdf/helpforcarepartners.pdf.
What support is available to help those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and their families?
From community nurses, to online forums and financial advice, there is support available for those who need help caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease. Take a look at these sources below for helpful information:
- The NHS dementia help and support guide – A list of online and nursing resources
- Alzheimer’s Research UK – Tips on how to find local support
- Age UK – Legal and financial help
You can find our extensive list of resources here: https://www.myliferaft.com/more/resources/#alzheimers-dementia
How can Liferaft assist your support of a loved one?
As carers of those with additional needs, we know how useful Liferaft is for recording health and medical data and support care information. The Liferaft app is an easy-to-use tool to keep organised, with different carers and medical professionals able to access the information.
Take a look at our testimonial page here to find out how Liferaft can help caring for those with Alzheimer’s.
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