5 Surprising Things That Make Alzheimer’s Worse

5 Surprising Things That Make Alzheimer’s Worse

Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia are incredibly challenging on their own. Effectively managing dementia requires a toolbox of tactics that is ever-evolving, as the symptoms and difficulties of the disease change and progress over time. Yet even while employing the most cutting-edge dementia techniques, there’s more required to help someone you love: understanding that there are certain things that make Alzheimer’s worse, and knowing how to manage those as well. 

If you’re caring for someone with the disease, you need to be aware of the following potential complications and contact the person’s doctor for recommendations where applicable:

  • Hearing impairment. Untreated age-related hearing loss is linked to a rapid decline in memory. Even something as simple and easily treated as wax buildup in the ears can worsen the effects of Alzheimer’s. 
  • Too much sugar. A sugar craving is quite common in those with dementia, but can lead to increased irritability and agitation. This is even worse when short-term memory loss causes the person to overeat, forgetting they’ve already had a cookie or two.
  • Anticholinergic medications. These drugs are used to treat allergies, asthma, muscle spasms, and overactive bladder, as well as sleeping problems. The chemical they block, however, plays a critical role in memory and learning. 
  • Alcohol. Alcohol has a much more extreme effect on older adults in general, with one alcoholic beverage the equivalent of three for a younger adult. It contributes to confusion, falls, disinhibition, and depression, all of which can be extremely dangerous for someone with dementia.
  • Isolation. The comfort and familiarity of home are often ideal for someone with Alzheimer’s disease, but it’s important to ensure plenty of opportunities for socialization as well. 

What Else Can You Do to Help Someone With Dementia?

Caring for someone with dementia is never a one-person task. If you’re a solo caregiver for someone you love with dementia, it’s vitally important to build a network of support as quickly as possible to avoid caregiver burnout or depression, and to ensure the older adult receives the highest quality care they need and deserve.

This is where Amy’s Helping Hands comes in! Our dementia care team is highly skilled and experienced in the most effective and creative care techniques to make life the very best it can be for those with dementia, and those who care for them. We partner with families to provide just as much or as little care as needed, according to each unique situation. 

We can help overcome the things that make Alzheimer’s worse and enrich life in additional ways, including:

  • Preparing nutritious meals and snacks
  • Providing transportation to medical appointments or anywhere else a senior would like to go
  • Offering friendly companionship for conversations, reminiscing, and engaging, meaningful activities
  • Light housekeeping and laundry
  • Running errands, such as grocery shopping and picking up prescriptions
  • And so much more

To learn more about how we can improve quality of life for someone you love, reach out to us any time at 519-915-4370.