Alzheimer also changes a lifestyle of patients’ family members. Their duties enhance and include care about ill person; family is responsible for providing a lot of support, as a person with Alzheimer may lose a sense of identity and self-worth. Anyway, the help of relatives is very important and requires patience and a positive attitude. Taking into consideration that Alzheimer is a progressing disease, a carer should be very patient and respectful towards an ill person. Not everyone can help the person with Alzheimer to make life as easy and enjoyable, as possible; selfish people would not bear responsibility and take care of an ill patient because it demands much time and efforts. A day, spent with the caregiver of someone suffering from Alzheimer’s disease may help to understand lives of those people.
Caring about the ill person implies sacrifice. A morning of the carer might begin an hour earlier than before because he/she has to cook special breakfast for an ill family member. It is not always easy to satisfy; Alzheimer may cause emotional and psychical changes, which may influence ill person’s eating habits. It is very important to provide the person with Alzheimer’s a healthy and balanced diet, which would help them to feel good, to maintain normal weight and to be fit. Healthy eating does not mean avoiding some foods, but the diet should include fruits and vegetables, meat, fish and dairy products, bread, cereals and drinks. Even though breakfast has already been made, some difficulties still might occur: it may be hard for ill people to eat, as they have problems with coordination and they cannot always control their behavior. For instance, people with the disease may drop food and feel embarrassed about it, or poor dental health may cause problems with chewing and eating. Some people may have no appetite or lose interest to food at all. That is why the carer should make food look attractive and tasty. Thus, Alzheimer disease makes a process of morning eating, which was a routine thing before, more complicated and longer. The main task of a caregiver is to make an ill person healthy and full without the stress and excessive worries.
The other morning procedures include washing up, bathing and toilet. The person, who takes care about ill people should be of assistance in these intimate processes as well. These daily procedures may make both of them feel embarrassed and confused. Instead of the morning reading or running, carers have to make sure that the ill person went through all necessary hygiene procedures. For example, it is not easy to free from stress the ill person, as the carer may get nervous and irritated because some ill people may be afraid of water, especially deep baths and overhead showers. One more confusing action is visiting a toilet, which was a private act before. These daily duties may be very unpleasant for carers and ill person, but the hardest thing is to make it less stressful and confusing for both.
Another morning ritual is dressing, which helps the person to express self. The carer has to give the person with Alzheimer enough independence and freedom in clothes choice. This choice may be very unusual sometimes, as the ill person most probably has difficulties with expressing the emotions. Nevertheless, any choice of such person must be accepted and respected. The person, who cares for ill people spends a lot of time for dressing because it gets difficult. The carer remains sensitive and tactful, though he or she has to lay out clothes in the order for the ill person to put them on. Also the carer should not forget about the way the patient feels in the clothes: it must be comfortable, warm and clean. Some attentive people even go shopping with the ill person in order to give them the opportunity to wear anything they want. The morning of carers and ill people should not be spoilt by dressing, but should be easy and interesting.
Having completed the stages of morning duties and tasks, the carers spend the whole day with ill people. Their relationship to each other is the basis of emotional balance and good mood. The attitude towards the person with Alzheimer may change through the course of time. Firstly, people who care about ill person express love, patience and respect. They are glad to help their family members or friends to deal with Alzheimer, to handle all difficulties and problems that may occur. Often carers have a feeling of guilt and forget about personal needs and wishes. However, after some period of time, people change their behaviors. They may find the actions of people with the disease strange, irritating and terrifying. Everyday duties may cause depression, stress, irritation and obduracy. In some cases even carers’ nervous breakdowns, linked with the covet the ill person to die are not excluded. All the behavioral changes, listed above, are absolutely normal and natural. Undeniably, people are not able to control their feelings, but they still can control the expression of these feelings.
Some carers change their attitude towards ill people, since it may seem to them, that Alzheimer radically changed people and they are not the same as they were before the disease. Communication with the ill person might get harder with time and sometimes less exciting. Long complex sentences must be replaced by short and simple to increase understanding. Some activities also change to simpler ones. It is worth reacting to the illness as a challenge, special circumstance, which should be overcome to become wiser and kinder.
To sum up, people who care about the person with the disease have a lot of difficulties that drastically change their lifestyle and world outlook. The most important thing is to make living with Alzheimer as stress free and pleasant, as possible. Everyone should remember: such complixities should approach people instead of separating them.
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