This post is borne out of necessity to spread awareness about alzheimer’s. To set the right mentality and outlook towards it. I am not a doctor, however, and not studying to be one either, so I do not have the medical terms for it. I do know extensively about it and I hope this post helps someone to deal with it better.
Alzheimer’s is the disease of forgetfulness, among other things. It starts off as a spatial disorientation. Perhaps the person forgets the way to the bathroom that is attached to the room they are currently sitting in. They find multiple doors confusing, so a toilet door must be labelled so and maybe the light inside it could be left on for identification.
They also begin to lose a hold over how far different places are. They might think two cities in two different states can be shuttled by walking.
They start dreaming about events and believe with utmost certainty that said events took place. They might question you as to why you made them sleep in some other house and brought them back the next morning.
They get distracted easily by the lights outside the window at night, which may cause disturbance to them. Even if the lights are not of much intensity. When this is noticed, cover the windows with curtains.
They might forget that they had a meal already – keep everything on a schedule. So that they know that, say, at 7:30 they will get their dinner.
Sometimes they might disagree to eat. Coax them to eat a little. Or if completely impossible, give them a sweet so as to maintain their sugar levels.
Slowly, they reach the last stage of alzheimer’s – personality change is one of the symptoms. They show sexual tendencies and speak out in a grossly sexual manner which come as a shock to the close ones. This is just the disease. They don’t realise the change. Sometimes they’re normal and sometime’s they are not. But when this change happens, you must take care of everyone who interacts with the person. Warn the people beforehand and don’t let someone with the person without supervision. These sexual tendencies come with a burst of energy as well.
Alzheimer’s is a disease to which a cure has not been found yet. The existing medications mostly decrease the energy level so as to decrease excitations but might lead to further problems. It might make the person drowsy to the extent that they get bed ridden over time. It might lead to them falling down because of drowsiness while walking. This might lead to a vegetative state which is even more difficult to manage.
The only solution is to play a kind of hide-and-seek. To not give rise to a situation where they can manifest their sexual intentions.
They must be taken care of with utmost precision. Every mood change must be noted for future reference. All the current medications are on a trial and error basis. What works for one may not work for another. It has to be adjusted over a period of time with due diligence.
And most of all, people need to start understanding alzheimer’s better. No, your loved one has not become evil. They just got affected by a disease. Take good care of them. They need your love.
Lastly, when I now read of instances of misbehaviour of old men or women, I wonder – were they affected by alzheimer’s? Because it is a real possibility and when they are taken to court, this must be checked into.
Similarly, when people visit old age homes, they must be warned of alzheimer patients and given a tutorial on how to behave around them. It is really hard for people to accept the occurrences of these sexually intended movements, but they need to keep in mind – it is a disease. It is to be treated thus.