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If you are the primary care provider for a loved one who's been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, telling other family members and friends about the diagnosis can be one more challenge for you. How should you go about it? What information will you need to have? How will they react? How should you respond?
For many reasons, caregivers often struggle with the decision whether to take the car keys away from a loved one with Alzheimer's disease. Ginny Helms, Vice President of Chapter Services and Public Policy for the Alzheimer's Association, Georgia Chapter says, "This is because no one wants to take away the independence that comes with driving, and because there is a gray area when it is difficult to know for sure whether or not it is safe for the person to drive." "Often families delay taking the keys away until the person with Alzheimer's disease gets lost while driving or becomes involved in an accident."
I am always unnerved and upset by my mother's bouts of agitation. I know it is part of the disease process, but it always makes me very anxious and agitated as well. I wish there were things I could do to help her calm down.
Fortunately, there is. It's called "sensory stimulation."
Caregivers for loved ones with memory impairment such as Alzheimer's disease or other dementia, often experience a wide range of emotions. Sadness and anger are natural responses to the unpleasant situations the disease can produce. Guilt, however, can be destructive. It makes us feel fatigued, weak and immobile.
The old adage, "Laughter is the best medicine," may actually have some truth to it. While there is clearly nothing funny about a loved one with memory loss from Alzheimer's disease or dementia, laughter is recognized as a legitimate way to reduce stress and to improve one's well-being.