Category: Alzheimer’s

What Are the Effects of Alzheimer’s Disease on Daily Life?

Living with Alzheimer’s disease or any dementia can be a challenging experience that affects not only the person with the disease but also their loved ones. The disease causes a gradual decline in cognitive function, which can lead to difficulties in carrying out everyday tasks. As a result, people with Alzheimer’s disease often require assistance with activities that were once second nature to them, such as dressing, bathing, and preparing meals.

What does this mysterious phrase “cognitive function” mean or entail? The mental processes of perception, learning, memory, understanding, awareness, reasoning, judgment, intuition, and language. That is a whole lot of stuff. You can see how the aspects of daily life will change as the decline progresses. They will need help with daily activities. The person living with any type of dementia is having brain failure. 

One of the most significant ways Alzheimer’s disease affects day-to-day life is through memory loss. You or your loved one may find yourself forgetting important appointments, misplacing items, or struggling to remember the names of people you’ve known for years. This can be frustrating and overwhelming, and it may require you to rely on others for help with tasks that you used to do independently. Also, Alzheimer’s disease can cause changes in mood and behavior, which can make it challenging to interact with others and maintain relationships. 

Impact on Daily Activities Because of Dementia

Living with Alzheimer’s disease can be challenging, especially when it comes to completing daily activities. Here are some of the ways that Alzheimer’s can impact your day-to-day life.

Difficulties with Basic Tasks

As Alzheimer’s disease progresses, you may find it increasingly difficult to complete basic tasks. For example, you may struggle to brush your teeth, get dressed, or prepare a meal. You may forget how to use common household items, such as the stove or microwave. You may also have trouble with fine motor skills, such as buttoning a shirt or tying your shoes.

To help you manage these difficulties, you may want to consider using tools and equipment that can make tasks easier. For example, you may want to use adaptive clothing that is easier to put on and take off, or you may want to use utensils with larger handles that are easier to grip.

Communication Challenges

Alzheimer’s disease can also make it difficult to communicate with others. You may struggle to find the right words, or you may forget what you were trying to say. You may also have trouble following a conversation or understanding what others are saying to you.

To help you communicate more effectively, you may want to consider using visual aids, such as pictures or diagrams, to help you express yourself. You may also want to practice active listening techniques, such as repeating back what someone has said to you, to ensure that you have understood them correctly. 

It is time to make sure your vision and hearing are as good as they can be.

Memory Loss

One of the most challenging aspects of Alzheimer’s disease is memory loss. You may forget important dates, such as birthdays or anniversaries, or you may forget how to perform tasks that you used to do with ease. You may also forget the names of people you know well or the places you have been.

To help you cope with memory loss, you may want to consider using memory aids, such as calendars or reminder notes, to help you remember important information. You may also want to practice memory exercises, such as repeating back a list of items, to help improve your memory skills.

Living with Alzheimer’s disease can be difficult, but there are ways to manage the challenges that come with it. By using tools and techniques to help you complete daily activities, communicate more effectively, and cope with memory loss, you can continue to live the best quality of life possible. 

Emotional and Behavioral Changes

Living with Alzheimer’s disease can be a challenging experience, not only for the person affected but also for their family and caregivers. Emotional and behavioral changes are common in people with Alzheimer’s disease, and they can have a significant impact on day-to-day life.

Depression and Anxiety

It is not uncommon for people with Alzheimer’s disease to experience depression and anxiety. You may feel sad, hopeless, and lose interest in activities that you once enjoyed. Anxiety can also cause you to feel restless, agitated, and worried. These emotional changes can be caused by the disease itself, or they can be a reaction to the changes that are happening in your life.

To cope with depression and anxiety, it is important to talk to your doctor or a mental health professional. They can help you manage your symptoms with medication or therapy. You can also try some self-care techniques, such as exercise, meditation, and spending time with loved ones.

Agitation and Aggression

Agitation and aggression are common behavioral changes in people with Alzheimer’s disease. You may become easily agitated or frustrated, and you may lash out at others. This can be caused by a variety of factors, such as confusion, fear, or frustration.

To manage agitation and aggression, it is important to identify what triggers these behaviors. Keeping a journal can help you identify patterns and triggers. You can also try to redirect your attention to a calming activity, such as listening to music or taking a walk. If these techniques do not work, your doctor may prescribe medication to help manage your symptoms.

Social Withdrawal

Social withdrawal is another common emotional and behavioral change in people with Alzheimer’s disease. You may feel overwhelmed by social situations and prefer to be alone. This can lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation, which can worsen your symptoms. Continue going out to eat or over to a friend’s house. Staying emotionally and socially engaged for as long as possible will improve quality of life. 

To combat social withdrawal, it is important to stay connected with loved ones and engage in social activities. This can include joining a support group or participating in a hobby that you enjoy. You can also try to maintain a routine, which can help you feel more in control of your life.

In conclusion, emotional and behavioral changes are common in people with Alzheimer’s disease and can have a significant impact on day-to-day life. By identifying triggers and using coping techniques, you can manage these changes and improve your quality of life.

Caregiving Challenges for People with Dementia

Taking care of someone with Alzheimer’s disease can be a difficult and challenging task. It requires a lot of patience, understanding, and compassion. As a caregiver, you will face many challenges that will test your physical, emotional, and financial strength. Not everyone can be a caregiver. 

Physical Demands

Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease can be physically demanding. You may need to help them with everyday tasks such as bathing, dressing, and eating. You may also need to assist them with walking, getting in and out of bed, and using the bathroom. This can be physically exhausting, especially if you are doing it alone.

To make things easier, you can use assistive devices such as a wheelchair, walker, or cane. You can also ask for help from family members, friends, or professional caregivers. It is important to take care of yourself and get enough rest and exercise to avoid burnout.

Emotional Toll

Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease can take a toll on your emotional well-being. You may feel overwhelmed, stressed, and anxious. You may also feel guilty, frustrated, and sad. It is normal to have these feelings, but it is important to seek help and support when you need it.

You can join a support group for caregivers, talk to a therapist, or seek help from family and friends. Taking care of yourself and finding ways to cope with your emotions can help you become a better caregiver.

Financial Burden

Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease can also be a financial burden. You may need to pay for medical expenses, medications, and home care services. You may also need to take time off work to care for your loved one, which can result in lost wages.

To ease the financial burden, you can look for financial assistance programs, such as Medicaid, Medicare, or veteran’s benefits. You can also talk to your employer about flexible work arrangements, such as working from home or taking a leave of absence.

In conclusion, caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease can be challenging, but it is also rewarding. By taking care of yourself and seeking help when you need it, you can become a better caregiver and improve the quality of life for your loved one.

Treatment and Support

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, it’s important to know that there are treatment options and support available to help manage the symptoms and improve quality of life.

Medications and Therapies

There are several medications available that can help slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease and improve cognitive function. These medications work by increasing the levels of certain chemicals in the brain that are involved in memory and learning. Your doctor may also recommend various therapies, such as occupational therapy or speech therapy, to help manage the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.

Support Groups and Resources

Living with Alzheimer’s disease can be challenging, both for the person with the disease and for their caregivers. Support groups can provide a safe and supportive environment to share experiences and learn from others who are going through similar situations. There are also many resources available, such as the Alzheimer’s Association, that offer information, education, and support for people with Alzheimer’s disease and their families.

Long-term Planning

As Alzheimer’s disease progresses, it’s important to have a plan in place for the future. This may include making legal and financial arrangements, such as setting up a power of attorney or creating a living will. It’s also important to discuss long-term care options, such as assisted living or nursing homes, with your loved ones and healthcare providers.

Overall, while there is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, there are treatment options and support available to help manage the symptoms and improve quality of life. It’s important to work closely with your healthcare team and take advantage of the resources available to you.

Learning to accept help is hard.

I have started this freaking blog, three times. I can’t seem to get going with it. Why? Because my mind is racing and I don’t want to deal with the emotional “stuff” that I am going to have to deal with. How can I tell you to learn to accept help when I have had trouble accepting help? Maybe, I can use some of my experiences so you don’t have to be as stressed as I was.

Our own thoughts, feelings, and stressors keep us from accepting help much less asking for help. Look at us in our Superman power pose. We can handle all. We can do all. And we truly can until the needs of our loved one takes up so much time and energy that we have nothing left to give. This happens about 18 months to two years in the helping process.

February 22, 2023

When I can help someone, I do. I don’t think a thing about helping them nor do I keep track or a “tab”, if you will. I am sure there are many people out there that are the same way. Just as I am sure that there are people that do keep score. Find the people who do not keep score and are willing and able to help each other out when needed.

We can’t do it all. We do need help. We need a written list. It doesn’t have to be things for your loved one, it can be things for you or the house. Things that others can do for you to help ease the stress. What would help you? It is often hard to think about what would help us when we are put on the spot with an offer of help.

Too often we think all the help needs to be for our loved one or we should not ask for help because we are the caregiver. Nope, wrong again. What could someone do for you to free up time for you to get your paying job done? What could someone do for you so that you can spend more quality time with your loved one? I want you to think and consider all of the things that do not require you personally to handle. There are quite a few, aren’t there? Write them down on a piece of paper and place them on the refrigerator. Think of it as delegating certain tasks so that you can be fresh, rested, and in a better frame of mind to help your loved one. Let’s face it, if you don’t take care of your health and your needs too, you will become ill and you can be in worse physical health than the person you are caring for…then who will take care of your loved one?

Let them pick what they want to do from your list. Most of us have things that we can do and will do and we also have things we hate to do. Don’t expect someone to do something that they hate doing. Since you aren’t making them or expecting them to do something that they hate…you don’t have to feel guilty about asking for some help.

Our own personal barriers get in the way of asking for help or accepting help. Most of the time it is the negative head trash talk that gets in our way.

Examples of barriers that caregivers have in accepting or asking for help:

  • Do you feel selfish if you take care of your own wants and needs?
  • Do you feel like a failure if you have to ask for help?
  • Do you feel that you have to prove something? (being worthy, loving, caring)
  • Do you feel responsible? Are you truly responsible or is that a false narrative?
  • Do you find yourself saying, “If I don’t do it, no one else will do it?”
  • Do you find yourself saying,” family takes care of family?”
  • Do you keep hearing the promise that you made, playing over and over in your mind?
  • Do you have the inability to let go of control?
  • Do you have guilt over leaving your loved one for a short time?
  • Do you have trouble feeling that no one else can “do it right?”

Reframe the way that you view things. Look for solutions to the problems. The problems are things that get in your way of sleep, rest, physical activity, alone time, and being in the best frame of mind and shape that you can be in to provide the best care for your loved one.

What are some solutions that will remedy these things? One of the best things to remember is to use “I” statements. As in, “I need…” “I want …” Do not say, “You need to…” No hinting allowed. No one can read your mind.

If someone asks you what they can do, don’t even think that you are a burden. You aren’t. You are important to them and they want to help you. Don’t rob someone of a blessing when they want to do something to help.

Caregiving is hard. Caregiving is a burden. Don’t misunderstand…the person is not a burden. I want you to be able to recognize that caregiver burnout is real and it can happen to anyone. You do need help and you do need to rest.

Admit what you cannot do. Admit what you can no longer do. The struggle is the fight inside your own mind. When you accept things that you cannot do, you allow your brain to look for other solutions.


Who is messing with your routine?

How do you feel when someone messes with your routine? Aggravated, pissed off, out of sorts, or off your game for the rest of the day. Very few folks can let it roll off their backs and move on without any negative feelings.

We are all creatures of our own habits. From what we do first thing in the morning to how we get dressed. Our habits are so ingrained in us that we don’t have to waste our precious brain energy to think about what to do. We just “do.” Everything goes off without a hitch, UNTIL…

February 15, 2023

We need help getting dressed and our helper does things the way that they do them for themselves. Unfortunately, it is not how we do things for ourselves. Talk about trouble and aggravation and a few dammits are thrown in for good measure. We may be dressed but we are all out of sorts and are not happy.

Try this and you will see what I mean. Stand up and relax with your arms by your side. Cross your arms over your chest. Look down and see which arm is on top. Left over Right or Right over Left. Now, relax them back down to your sides and do it the opposite way. Some of you can’t do it without a struggle. Some of you can do it but it sure feels strange.

Put on your jacket the “normal” way for you. Left arm in first or Right arm in first. Take it off and put it on again using the opposite arm. How does that make you feel? Kind of out of sorts? Now you are aware of how it feels to you. Now you can imagine how it feels to your caree too. You may have wondered why they were not helping you more and it seemed to be more of a struggle than it should have been. Now, you know. You weren’t doing things the way that they have always done them for themselves. You were throwing their routine off and their brain was having to figure out what in the hell was going on and how to compensate all the while their brain is screaming inside because you are doing it wrong!

My goal is to get you to understand that we all have our own ways that feel right and good to us. It is comfortable, safe, and secure for us. When we feel comfortable, safe, and secure we are much more agreeable, and our attitude is much better. It is the little things that matter.

Some of you may be thinking, “I just want to get it done.” I understand that feeling. If you want to get it done more easily and with much less stress, then do it their way and you will be done in less time and have a better day.

I have a document named “My Way.” It is about 12 pages, and it lists things that almost all of us do each day plus some things that we like to do, watch or listen to. It will be helpful to you and your loved one to let each other know what and how you like to do “things.”

It is free for the asking. I will email it to you.

Send me an email and in the subject line type in “my way” and I will send you a copy.

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