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Alzheimer’s Patients Often Suffer From Another Chronic Illness

Sep 28, 2018 by The Crafty Caregiver

Sadly, the Alzheimer’s Association has reported that at least 5 million adults over age 65 in the U.S. suffer from Alzheimer’s Disease. Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) destroys a person’s memory and creates cognitive issues and behavioral changes that eventually affect the patient’s ability to work or have social relationships. By the end of this terminal illness, even the most basic activities of daily living can be daunting.


Chronic Disease affects Alzheimer’s Patients

Chronic disease affects Alzheimer’s patients just the same as the rest of the population in the U.S. In fact, AD patients will usually succumb to at least one other chronic disease in addition to the Alzheimer’s. These additional issues might include diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and arthritis. 


AD and Dementia Healthcare Management

Once a person has lost reasoning skills and memory, healthcare management becomes impossible, too. Alzheimer’s sufferers eventually won’t be able to take medication per instructions and certainly won’t recognize or be able to communicate the worsening symptoms of their condition.


Caregivers Help the Situation

Trained caregivers can lessen the inherent dangers and discomfort for Alzheimer’s patients. Here are some helpful tips:

  • Safety in mind.  Secure grab bars strategically, especially in the bathroom, for preventative care. The adult can be bathed safely if a shower bench is available to sit upon.  
  • Provide healthy whole foods. Providing healthy whole foods, especially when the patient has diabetes, high blood pressure, or cholesterol can be beneficial to the patient in many ways.
  • Activities for chronic disease. Arthritis and other conditions typically are increasingly painful and challenging when the disease progresses. Exercising at home with a stationary bike, stretch bands, or balloons can be fun ways to stay active. Walking is always a good activity!
  • Do what you can for sleep challenges. Sleeping is a top challenge for older adults with Alzheimer’s, but providing a cool sleep environment with regular sleep and wake up times may help.


Additional Items to Consider

Knowing that Alzheimer’s patients can’t describe something that hurts, caregivers need to be vigilant for any signs of pain or discomfort.


Remember AD patients won’t be able to explain their additional symptoms, or any medical problems either.


As the caregiver, request more help or speak to the patient’s family for additional information, as needed.  


How Comfort Keepers Can Help

Our Alzheimer's care is the best in the home care industry and we're proud to help countless seniors cope with their Alzheimer's disease and other chronic illnesses. If you would like to inquire about our services, contact us today to talk to one of our experts! 

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