Mood changes, irritability, anxiety, aggression and confusion are just some of the manifestations of Alzheimer's Disease. The progression and the effects of this disease is very difficult not just for the patient but also to the caregiver/family.
Let's review the action of the drugs taken by your fathe.. Ebixa aids in memory and learning. Asentra works as an anti-depressant and helps in anxiety and panic attacks. Seroquel, an anti-psychotic, helps manage his agitation, depression and memory. As his caregiver, it is very important to be consistent in giving his medications. Give the medications as ordered by the doctor (right time, dose, and frequency) at the same time everyday and as much as possible by the same person. If you feel that these medications are not very effective, inform your doctor so he can decide whether to adjust the dosage and frequency of the medication or change the drug to a more effective one.
Caring for a person with Alzheimer's disease is very challenging. It takes a lot of patience, understanding and love to care for the unpredictable patient. Together with the prescribed medications, take time to internalize and reflect on these tips to help manage and care for the patient with Azheimer's disease.
1. Win your father's attention before attempting to talk to him. Calmly approach him from the front. Introduce yourself and call him by his name or a pet name that you have always used only for him.
2. Maintain eye contact. This will show your sincerity when communicating with him. Also, in this way, you will see his facial expressions and know what his current emotion is.
3. Be attentive to his concerns. Listen politely. Acknowledge his feelings. Do not interrupt, correct or argue with him as this may only aggravate his anxiety. Use a calm, gentle and friendly tone when responding or talking to him.
4. Be consistent. Your tone of voice should match your facial expressions and gestures. If he's still unstable, keep your hands away from him. He might sense it as danger. Do not feed his paranoia by covering your face with your hands or by mumbling. Remember that when his anxiety is at its peak, he's highly sensitive to every stimuli and too much stimuli might drive him mad. When you gain his trust, go back to #3.
5. Keep your words and instructions simple. Talk in a natural manner. Ask questions and give instructions one at a time. Always identify people and things by name.
6. Speak in a an encouraging way. Instead of telling him to avoid such things, re-phrase your statements in a positive way.
7. Keep in mind that it is us who shall adjust to the situation especially when communicating with him.
8. Limit noise. It will just add to their confusion and compete when you are talking.
9. Try not to change his surroundings (position of appliances, sofa, or his significant possessions). If you really have to, do it gradually.
10. Be enduring in reminding him and re-orienting him to time, person, place or event.
11. Always re-assure him of your presence, love and support even when he's not responding to you.
12. Assist him in carrying out his everyday activities. Preserve the skills he can do. Praise him if he completes a task.
13. Take note of the events, things or persons that trigger his uncontrollable behavior so you can prevent them from recurring/re-appearing in the future.
It takes time to understand his behaviors and to learn to respond to them positively. He's also struggling to understand his environment and he becomes terrified if he couldn't. Work together.
Hope these help.