Drug Intervention: Detecting Symptoms of Alzheimer’s in Your Loved One’s Behavior

Cognitive symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease include disruption of the memory, language, thinking and reasoning skills. These are the most noticeable effects of the disease, but there are also many other additional behavioral and psychiatric symptoms that occur in most individuals with Alzheimer’s disease.

People suffering from Alzheimer’s disease will often experience personality changes in the early stages, such as irritability, anxiety or depression. Other symptoms will begin to form in the later stages, including disturbances in their sleep, agitated physical or verbal outbursts, emotion distress, restlessness, pacing, shredding paper, yelling, delusions and hallucinations.

Families that have a relative that suffers from Alzheimer’s find these behavioral and psychiatric symptoms to be extremely challenging and consider them to be the most distressing part of dealing with the disease. It is the effects of these symptoms that determine whether the family decides to put their loved one into a Houston nursing home to be cared for by professionals. A long-term car facility can have a huge impact on the quality of life for a victim of Alzheimer’s disease.

Thorough medical examinations are recommended for people exhibiting behavior and psychiatric symptoms, especially if these symptoms came on suddenly. Three specific things will determine what type of treatment your loved one will need: a careful diagnosis, determination of the possible causes, and the types of agitated behavior your loved one is experiencing. Proper treatment and intervention can significantly reduce or stabilize the symptoms your loved one is experiencing.

Some symptoms can mean more than just point out that your loved one has Alzheimer’s disease. They can also reflect an underlying infection or medial illness, such as pneumonia or a urinary tract infection, an untreated ear or sinus infection, or even problems with hearing or vision. There might also be a chance that they are experiencing side effects of a prescription medication, especially if they are on multiple medications for treating several different health issues.

To treat these behavioral and psychiatric symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, you can either choose to use non-drug strategies or prescription medications. It is strongly recommended that you use non-drug interventions first. Begin with the three steps to managing the symptoms: (1) identify the behavior, (2) understand the cause of this behavior, and (3) adapt your loved one’s surroundings to try and fix the situation.

When you know what triggered your loved one’s agitated feelings, you will more easily be able to remedy the situation and make them feel for comfortable. It usually occurs when there has been a change in their environment, such as a change in caregiver or living arrangements, in their method of travel, hospitalization, unwanted houseguests, etc.

When trying to communicate to your loved one despite the presence of these behavioral and psychiatric symptoms, it is best to redirect their attention to something pleasant rather than arguing, disagreeing, or being confrontational in any way. Some things you can try include simplifying their environment or daily tasks and routines, allowing plenty of time to rest between stimulating activities and events, install safety locks on doors, gates and windows or install extra smoke alarms and plenty of lighting.

Instead of raising your voice, taking offense, or doing things like corner, crowd, restrain or criticize your loved one during an episode of agitation, try backing off and asking permission while using calm positive statements. Slow down and use reassuring verbal cues. Focus on pleasant topics, add light to a room and limit the amount of noise and other types of stimulation.

Understanding and caring for a victim of Alzheimer’s disease can be a daunting task, but with the help of professionals from a Houston nursing home, your loved one can feel safe and protected knowing that they are getting the best care possible. Putting your loved one into the hands of professional caregivers will give them that calm environment they need to feel less stressed or afraid.

Legend Healthcare delivers the highest levels of patient care in a warm, personalized manner. Our facilities offer safety and comfort in a home-like setting. Legend Healthcare was established in 2002, but has its roots in health care and long-term care operations going back almost 30 years. We bring a high level of dedication and experience to the business of caring for people.

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