Activities of Daily Living for Alzheimer’s Patients: What You Need to Know
Alzheimer’s disease continues to affect millions of people around the world. In the United States alone, 5.8 million individuals of all ages are living with Alzheimer’s dementia in 2019 and the number keeps on growing every minute. One of the biggest challenges for patients with Alzheimer’s disease is the increasing difficulty to perform activities of daily living. This is why facilities for Alzheimer’s focus highly on the elderly’s need for assistance while still giving them as much independence as possible.
What are Activities of Daily Living?
When a senior starts to experience dementia brought about by Alzheimer’s disease, he also starts to have difficulty performing tasks that were otherwise routine when he was younger. Activities of Daily Living (ADL) refer to self-care tasks done by the elderly and they are divided into Personal Activities of Daily Living (PADL) and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL).
PADLs include activities such as dressing up, grooming, going to the toilet and eating while IADLs include chores like doing the laundry, cooking, shopping and managing household finances.
As the disease progresses, the affected individual also requires more assistance in performing his personal activities. There also comes a time when this need for assistance becomes increasingly often that the senior is recommended to stay in one of the facilities for Alzheimer’s where he can be given the right support and care he needs, especially when he’s living alone or his family cannot keep up with care any more.
What can be expected with assistance for ADLs?
People suffering from Alzheimer’s disease need help with ADLs for various reasons. Some simply don’t remember how to cook their own food or clean themselves while others may have challenges in accomplishing these tasks due to restrictions in movement and coordination. These difficulties also increase as dementia from Alzheimer’s disease worsens.
For instance, an elderly with dementia may only require a reminder to brush his teeth or take a bath during the early stages of the disease. But as it progresses, the same individual may then need assistance in some aspects of these activities including putting toothpaste or using shampoo.
Eventually, a time will come when the elderly would forget how to brush his teeth or take a bath altogether that a professional caregiver needs to do it for him.
What is the role of a facility in assisting with ADLs?
Going through a progressive disease like Alzheimer’s is no easy feat for anyone, especially the elderly. They may have several challenges in doing even the most mundane tasks because they couldn’t understand instructions, forget what they need to do or just lose interest in doing anything altogether.
This is when facilities for Alzheimer’s take over to make sure that proper care is given to these individuals and their ADLs completed with the right amount of assistance they require.
Alzheimer’s disease may be robbing off the memories of millions of individuals, especially the elderly. But something can always be done to help these people live their best life by assisting them with their ADLs and other tasks.
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