Living With Alzheimer’s Disease

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Family caregivers need support from friends, neighbors and for the patient and for themselves.

As people live longer, and as more progress is made in preventing the leading causes of death — such as cancer and heart disease — the chronic conditions of older adulthood make a more profound impact on families and society. Of these Alzheimer’s Disease may be one of the most devastating because of its progressive nature and associated disability.

The typical progression of Alzheimer’s is familiar: a person, usually an older, begins to forget details. Errors in thinking become more frequent and serious until they interfere with the patient’s and their family’s activities of daily life. Eventually, the victim may fail to recognize familiar people and places, and lose the ability to care for themselves. Death usually occurs due to other illnesses or as a result of complications of the disability.

Although the underlying cause is not fully known, the changes in brain tissue that bring on the symptoms of Alzheimer’s are readily recognized. The support structures between neurons progressively become more and more damaged. At least two proteins that are most likely responsible for this damage have been identified. Then, the neurons themselves die. Although a definitive diagnosis can be made only by examining brain tissue under a microscope – usually at autopsy – Alzheimer’s can be identified with reasonable certainty from a computerized tomography (CT) scan and laboratory tests, provided other common causes of dementia have been excluded.

In the early to middle stages of Alzheimer’s, family members are usually responsible for most of the care. A familiar, quiet and well-structured environment with a simple, regular routine works best for most people with Alzheimer’s. Family caregivers need support from friends, neighbors and employers in maintaining this kind of environment; they also need support and encouragement for themselves. For example, respite care that enables caregivers to get away for a break can be helpful.

Formal support groups across the nation exist for patients and families coping with Alzheimer’s. Many organizations have published literature about every aspect of Alzheimer’s, available both in hard copy and online. Also, a national bracelet-identification program has now been established to reunite caregivers with Alzheimer’s patients who may have wandered away.

Search by location for Alzheimer’s support at http://www.alz.org/apps/findus.asp*

In the later stages needs are often too intense for family members to handle in their homes. Placement in a residential facility may become necessary. When choosing an environment for a loved one, make sure the facility is clean, has a positive track record with the state licensing agency and specializes in the care of persons with Alzheimer’s. When making your choice, it may be helpful to talk with several families of other residents to hear their opinions on the service and level of care. It’s important for you and your loved one that you continue to be active in their circle of care.

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Your Teen Needs You Most of All

No parent of teens is perfect and even the best can learn how to better connect with their son or daughter. Get practical action steps to better connect with your teenager in 8 Essential Tips for Parenting Your Teen in this FREE video series!

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.
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Understand How to Respect and Love your Son Well

Why doesn’t my son listen to me? Have you ever asked that question? The truth is, how you see your son and talk to him has a significant effect on how he thinks and acts. That’s why we want to help you. In fact, we’ve created a free five-part video series called “Recognizing Your Son’s Need for Respect” that will help you understand how showing respect, rather than shaming and badgering, will serve to motivate and guide your son.

Reconnected: The Digital Experience

Is the love there, but not the spark? Reawaken fun in your marriage and move from roommates to soulmates again with the help of this 7-part online video experience. Learn how to connect emotionally and spiritually as husband and wife using techniques such as dreaming together and establishing deep, heartfelt communication. The Digital Experience includes 7 teaching videos, an online study guide and access to additional tools and resources to help spouses reconnect.

Next Steps: Marriage Assessment

We want your marriage to be thriving and healthy. Take the free Marriage Assessment from Focus on the Family to learn how to strengthen your bond with your spouse and get the tools to help you need to grow closer together. 

Next Steps: Fruit of the Spirit Devotionals for Couples

The Fruit of the Spirit Devotional is a free series of nine short videos to get you into God’s Word and inspire you to seek the Holy Spirit’s help in loving your spouse.

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