How many times a day do you find yourself laughing? Do you laugh a little or a lot? Or are you finding laughter hard to come by as a result of caring for someone with Alzheimer's disease or a related dementia? If you can't remember the last time you or your loved one laughed, you might want to consider adding some humor to your list of daily medications.
In order to give parents the amount of care and attention that they deserve as they age, we may find ourselves over-exerting ourselves to be the caregivers and sons/daughters they need. As they begin to need more attention and care, we may become riddled with caregiver stress or burnout, making us unable to be the caregivers that they truly deserve.
While no cure yet exists for Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia, holistic therapies are beginning to be used to assist in the treatment of them. More and more caregivers are beginning to experiment with holistic therapies because of their effectiveness in managing symptoms and their abilities to enhance mood, provide comfort and increase energy. Many caregivers have tried methods such as art or music therapy, reminiscence therapy and even spiritual exploration in order to calm and comfort their loved ones in the face of Alzheimer’s or dementia.
When someone in your family is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, it can raise a lot of questions and cause confusion throughout the family. You and your family members may wonder what to do now, who you should be telling, how it will affect your family’s everyday life – because an Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis impacts everyone – from the one with Alzheimer’s to the caregiver, other family members and the children.
As loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia age, they may begin to lose touch with reality. They may believe that things or people are there that are not or that someone they loved is coming over when, in reality, they have passed away long ago. Occurrences such as these can be difficult to go through, and even harder to watch your loved one experience. You may be tempted to bring them back into reality by telling them that there is nothing there or that their loved one is gone, but this will likely agitate them and do more harm than good.