The Risks of Alzheimers

By: mikeherman1
Every care giver who lives with a person suffering from Alzheimer's disease faces the same dilemma.

How much risk should their loved one be exposed to?

While their first reaction may be to wrap them up in cotton wool as soon as symptoms start to appear it could be the wrong thing to do as it is important that the routine of that person is disrupted as little as possible especially in the first stages when it's all new and frightening.

This becomes increasingly important as the disease progresses, as a stable familiar routine can help the Alzheimer's sufferer to be independent for as long as possible.

It's only natural that care givers feel a responsibility towards their charge and want the sufferer to be kept in as safe an environment as possible. It may be too easy to let fear of accidents stop them making a cup of tea or a simple meal or be very difficult to let them go for a walk on their own.

Although there are no ideal solutions to this problem, care givers and friends can and should seek advice from relevant health care professionals about what type of minimum risks are sensible to allow the Alzheimer's sufferer to take.

It may be difficult for care givers to remember that even people with confusion still have their rights and the right not to be treated as a prisoner in their home is one of the risks that should be discussed.

There are some simple common sense measures that can be taken to reduce risks in the home while always being mindful of the upset that moving a person's belongings can cause. Homes should be warm and well lit and any very hot surfaces such as fires and radiators should be adequately covered or protected.

Floors should be kept free from all slip or trip hazards with worn or loose carpets replaced or repaired where possible. Walking areas need to be kept uncluttered and clear and the patient's shoes and slippers must fit well. Windows and doors should be fitted with sturdy locks and stairs need safe and secure banisters. All appliances considered dangerous and unsuitable for use by the Alzheimer's sufferer could be disconnected.

Finally, it is important is keep medication closely supervised as its very easy for a patient who is confused and made forgetful by Alzheimer's disease to forget that they have had their medication, and take it again repeatedly.
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