ON THE JOB: Michelle Bridges
Q: Why is national Alzheimer’s awareness important?
A: Alzheimer’s is the sixth-leading cause of death in the country and the only cause of death among the top ten in the United States that cannot be prevented, cured or even slowed.
The importance with the education of this disease is so we can provide the best quality of care and you can get the maximum benefit from available treatments. You can explore treatments that may provide some relief of symptoms and help you maintain a level of independence longer. You may also increase your chances of participating in clinical drug trials that help advance research. Knowing what type of care and support services are available makes it easier for you and your family to live the best life possible with Alzheimer’s or dementia. A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s allows you to take part in decisions about care, transportation, living options, financial and legal matters.
Q: What tips do you have for those with Alzheimer’s and dementia?
A: Know what activities you will have your loved one participate in and set a time limit.
- Keep it simple. Give direct instructions that encompass a single task. Be flexible. Remember that the sights, sounds and increased activity around the holidays can be overwhelming to someone with Alzheimer’s. Individuals with Alzheimer’s are most comfortable in a safe environment, where they have a routine. Be attentive to the signals your loved one may give you that indicate they are over-stressed, tired or uncomfortable.
- Adjust expectations. It can be disappointing when your loved one does not remember a family tradition or recognize a family member. Familiarize family members with your situation and ways in which they should interact with your loved one.
- Take a break. Especially during the holidays, it is OK to ask for help. Taking your loved one to an adult day care program or having them participate in a respite stay program will go a long way in helping relieve your stress and making the season more enjoyable for everyone.
About Michelle Bridges:
TITLE: Community relations director
COMPANY: Autumn Leaves of Cy-Fair
ADDRESS: 17801 West Road, Houston, 77095
EXPERIENCE: Worked in home health care and assisted living for the past ten years
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