Constant Scratching / Picking at the Skin

Many Alzheimer’s patients scratch themselves bloody — my mother did that.  Sometimes it’s an obsessive/compulsive behavior that’s almost impossible to stop. Other times, though, there is another cause. Among the many tips I’ve seen for trying to help the patient: >> FIND THE CAUSE First, evaluate the Alzheimer’s patient thoroughly to see whether something may …

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Eating and Drinking

Many caregivers become frustrated, trying to ensure that their loved ones drink enough fluids, and maintain their weight.  I’ve found many suggestions on how to deal with these problems on the discussion forums. GETTING ENOUGH FLUIDS Alzheimer’s patients tend to have problems with dehydration at almost any stage, which can have serious consequences.  It can …

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Sleep Disturbances in Alzheimer’s Patients

Alzheimer’s patients’ sleeping problems and caregiver exhaustion are two of the most common reasons Alzheimer’s loved ones are eventually placed in nursing homes. Some studies indicate that as many as 20 percent of Alzheimer’s patients will, at some point, experience periods of increased confusion, anxiety, agitation and disorientation beginning at dusk and continuing throughout the …

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Helping Alzheimer’s Patients Take Their Medicine

Alzheimer’s patients may not be able to tell us something is wrong, and may react negatively to taking pills for a number of different reasons. The first thing to consider is whether they may be having an adverse reaction to a medicine. Cholinesterase inhibitors (aricept, razadyne, exelon), for example, often cause nausea, abdominal pain from …

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Traveling with an Alzheimer’s Patient

Caregivers often ask if an Alzheimer’s patient can travel — to go on vacation, to attend a family gathering, or to relocate. If your loved one is still in the earlier stages, the two of you may still be able to enjoy traveling together, but you will need to take some basic precautions. Whether the …

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