Alzheimer’s disease is a form of dementia that leads to memory, cognitive, and behavioral complications. Symptoms develop slowly, but accumulate over time to have drastic effects on a person’s ability to perform everyday tasks.
As we are still beginning to understand the complex web of neurology, environment, and genetics, there is still so much that we don’t know about Alzheimer’s disease. It is even harder to say what the experience of Alzheimer’s disease actually feels like for the afflicted (give their changes in cognitive capacity and thinking patterns). That being said, as caregivers, we do know how hard it can be to cope with the stress and work of Alzheimer’s care.
For many families the hardest part of coping with Alzheimer’s, is that there isn’t a clear way to stop or address the issue that is confronting their loved ones. For caregivers, whether their nurses or family members, the stress of worrying about the wellbeing of an Alzheimer’s resident can be emotionally and physically taxing. Comfort is a care strategy that if done properly, can have the potential to reduce care-related stress — by enabling Alzheimer’s patients to relax and adapt to their environment.
Comfort can come in many forms. Often, if it is family care, the comfort may come from personal interaction and the telling of favorite stories. Interaction and socializing is a positive strategy in most care settings. There are also tools, which can help with delivering Alzheimer’s care in hospice and in clinical settings.
BRODA Seating designs specially crafted wheelchairs to address different medical conditions. When it comes to Alzheimer’s, a well-built, comfortable wheelchair can help deter Alzheimer’s patients from wandering (which is a huge source of stress). For example, the BRODA Auto-Locking Glider glides smoothly when the resident sits down, and stops when the resident gets up. The caregiver can lock the glide feature at any time. The gentle repetition of gliding usually has a soothing or calming effect on Alzheimer’s patients.
Caring for Alzheimer’s can be a burden, but doesn’t have to be. While they may be different than they were before, Alzheimer’s patients still have stories to tell, and we can still enjoy our time with them, by supporting a comfortable, safe, and nurturing care environment.