Caregivers should look out for six specific terms when it comes to Alzheimer’s and dementia, according to a Nov. 1 press release from the Alzheimer’s Association. The organization announced the key phrases as part of National Family Caregivers and National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month.
Caring for older adults with Alzheimer’s or dementia requires caregivers to have robust knowledge about the ins and outs of the disease. There are more than 11 million caregivers nationwide providing care to more than 6 million seniors living with Alzheimer’s disease, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. To simplify this care, the organization distributed a press release sharing six terms all dementia and Alzheimer’s caregivers should know and understand to better navigate their caregiving journey.
“These terms are commonly used in Alzheimer’s and dementia care but not always familiar to family caregivers,” said Beth Kallmyer, vice president of care and support for the Alzheimer’s Association, in a release. “It’s important that we not only increase awareness of these terms but also the important information and resources they represent.”
The group highlighted six terms caregivers should get used to hearing from Alzheimer’s and dementia professionals:
Person-centered care encourages Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers to get to know the older adults they care for on a personal level. This includes learning about their history, interests, abilities and personality. Knowing this information can help caregivers communicate effectively and make sound decisions for those they care for.
Dementia-related behaviors include behavioral symptoms connected with Alzheimer’s and dementia, which can include aggression, anxiety, depression, sleep disturbances, wandering and delusions. These behaviors can be set off by environmental factors, underlying conditions and medications.
Caregiver burnout is a term that seeks to encompass the physical and mental toll Alzheimer’s and dementia can have on caregivers. While long-term caregiving can cause exhaustion for caregivers and lead them to feel overworked, this burnout can often be remedied using a variety of stress management skills.
Respite care gives caregivers a break while their loved ones are cared for short-term by an outside source, such as a friend or an adult day-care facility. This off-duty time aims to improve the quality of care by decreasing the likelihood of caregiver burnout.
A care consultation is a meeting seniors and their caregivers have with clinicians and other care professionals to decide the best plan of action to manage an older adult’s condition. This involves assessing the progression of the condition and navigating a living plan and community resources.
A treatment pipeline refers to the ongoing efforts clinical trials are making to discover ways to slow Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Caregivers can refer to these clinical trials to stay up-to-date on what’s on the market that has proven effective and what types of drugs are in the works that could benefit the seniors they care for.
Caregivers can sign up for email updates on the Alzheimer’s Association news page to stay updated on research studies and breakthroughs relating to the disease.