Alzheimer’s is a fatal brain disorder, and as of now, there is no cure for this condition. The disease worsens with time and is recorded as the biggest contributor to dementia.
Different stages of Alzheimer’s
Alzheimer’s disease has three stages – mild, moderate, and severe. A person suffering from Alzheimer’s may show all or some of the symptoms mentioned below:
- Frequently getting lost
- Noticeably slow in completing everyday routine tasks
- Frequently placing common things in odd places or losing them
- Asking repetitive questions or making repetitive statements
- Poor judgment
- Problem in managing money
- Noticeable personality or mood changes
- Problem in writing or reading
- Speech problems
- Decreased ability to connect with current reality
- Decreased ability to understand date and time
- Disturbance in sleep patterns
- Difficulty performing simple activities such as dressing, grooming, and eating
- Frequently unable to recognize familiar people or places
- Inability to speak coherently and communicate with others
- Loss of ability to recognize family members and friends
- Sleeping for long hours at a stretch
- Increased susceptibility to skin infections, respiratory problems, and other illnesses
- Losing control over common bodily functions such as bladder, swallowing, or bowel control
- Severe or complete failure of memory
- Requiring constant care and monitoring
The symptoms mentioned above confirm what people whose loved ones have Alzheimer’s know all too well – that Alzheimer’s is very difficult to cope with, both for the patients and their families. Though Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease and one that has no cure yet, therapeutic interventions can help improve a patient’s quality of life.
What are Therapeutic Interventions?
By definition, therapeutic interventions are non-invasive strategies used to treat the symptoms of a disease and to provide physical and mental relief to a patient.
Therapeutic interventions for Alzheimer’s try to connect an Alzheimer’s patient to his/her own life. Studies show that therapeutic interventions have a high success rate in decreasing an Alzheimer’s patient’s depression, anger, and anxiety. Furthermore, as these activities require active participation of family members and friends, it also helps them to cope with the situation at hand.
Some of the important factors that go into therapeutic interventions are:
- Routine - Creating a routine for Alzheimer’s patients is a must, as it lends consistency to each day and eases the confusion that is bound to occur with degenerating memory.
- Structure - Structure is vital for Alzheimer’s patients as it defines each activity’s start and end time. Also, make sure that the place or room where each activity is conducted remains the same.
- Planning - These include activities that are planned beforehand and cater to the patient.
- Patient Involving - These include activities that engage Alzheimer’s patients and require their active involvement.
- Customized activities - These include activities that are customized based on the previous experiences, history, interest, family, et al of an Alzheimer’s patient.
- Uses of previous interests, hobbies, and skills - These activities are based on an Alzheimer’s patient’s previous interests, hobbies, and skills.
Examples of therapeutic interventions include: pet therapy, music, mediation, and exercise, to name a few.
Alzheimer’s disease is indeed difficult for both the patient and the family. However, therapeutic interventions can assist a great deal in improving the quality of the patient’s life.