Alzheimer’s is the most common type of dementia. As of last year, as many as 5.8 million Americans were living with Alzheimer’s disease. Though young people can develop the disease, the majority of this demographic is seniors. Every five years beyond 65 years old, the chances of developing the disease doubles. But as typical as Alzheimer’s disease is, do we fully understand how it is to live with it?
Many people probably know the effects of the disease and how it affects the people who have it. But not everyone knows what it is to live with the disease daily. In this article, we explore what it’s like living with Alzheimer’s.
Shortly After Diagnosis
Lately, you’ve forgotten pretty great details in your life. It is weird. You never really got a sharp memory in the first place; you never managed to memorize the table of elements back in grade school. But what you’re forgetting are not trivial matters.
To make sure that all is well with you, you go to your doctor for a check-up. The news was surprising and not the pleasant kind of surprise. You’ve been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Knowing that Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease, you are forced to wonder whether you will fail to recognize your friends and family within a few years.
You become angry. You have your life planned out. Now you have no control over it!
You become depressed. You are sad all the time. You’re thinking about how you will connect with your children or grandchildren if you can’t recognize them?
You become fearful. What does the future hold for you?
You feel alone. You feel like no one understands what you’re going through. You lose interest in maintaining friendships you’ve had for years because what’s the point? You will forget these relationships soon enough.
You feel helpless. It is difficult to accept the drastic changes your life is going through. Fortunately, your loved ones encourage you and support you through this entire ordeal.
And now you feel relief. The diagnosis vindicated the concerns you had about what’s been happening lately.
You’ve determined to be positive; you will get through this. But it’s just so challenging. You can still do most of the tasks you usually do. But conversations are different.
What did this person say?
Oh! I’ve just read something about this… what was it? Hang on… Where did I put that magazine?
Certain social situations may become challenging or intimidating for you. You keep forgetting what your friend just said. Besides, your friends bring these new people you’ve met before, but for the life of you, you can’t recall their names!
Your condition is getting worse. There are gaping gaps in your memory and your thinking. Thankfully, you can still manage to do… what was that you’re supposed to do again?
No matter, it’s time for your medication. But why is not your medication alarm not going off? And you know that your meds should be within your arm’s reach. It’s just beside your bed. But hang on… it is not your bedroom.
You realize you need help. You’d better call what’s-his-name. If you can, recall the name and number. Then you can tell him to go to your home. What’s your address again?
What’s Happening During the Middle Stage
During this stage, the inability to recall their address, telephone numbers, or the names of people they know become more prominent in people living with Alzheimer’s. They also get confused about time and place.
During this stage, people with the disease begin showing signs of needing help with simple tasks. They need assistance with grooming and eating. They also find it challenging to choose the proper clothing for the season, weather, or occasion.
You know you have children. But how are they now? These strange people are calling you Mom or Dad. If you can form the right words, you’ll tell them you don’t know them.
Life is getting more challenging, and you can’t sit without support. The same is valid with holding your head up. Your limbs become harder to move. Something as simple as swallowing is getting harder by the day.
What Happening During the Late Stages of Alzheimer’s
As the disease progresses into the late stage, the person’s ability to converse is lost. They can’t respond or carry a conversation. They also eventually lose the ability to move. Their muscles become rigid. Their reflexes are abnormally out of their control.
It is the stage where they desperately need all the help they can get. Thankfully, there is an institution in Orange County, California, dedicated to maintaining the quality of life of seniors. Infinite Love Homecare’s long list of services is proven to be helpful to all seniors, whether living with Alzheimer’s or not.
We offer mobility assistance, medication reminder, meal preparation, transportation services, and grooming and toiletry assistance. Perhaps an underrated service is companionship. Did you know that just by letting them talk about their condition, seniors with Alzheimer’s are comforted?
It can be challenging for seniors to accept help. But it has to be done. Reach out to us at (949) 529-4130 or through our Contact Us page. Let us help your beloved elderly keep the quality of their life in the comfort of their own home. Don’t let Alzheimer’s take away the color and vibrance out of the elderly’s life in the twilight of their life.