As we age, we become more susceptible to social isolation, physical health challenges, and shifting living arrangements. These life-changing situations are inevitable and a natural part of life. However, it becomes heartbreaking when our elderly loved ones deal with an illness or depression, and they deserve love, care, and understanding, especially if they're suffering from an illness such as Alzheimer's disease.
What is Alzheimer's?
As described by the Alzheimer's Association, "Alzheimer's is a type of dementia that affects memory, thinking, and behavior." It is named after Dr. Alois Alzheimer, who discovered it in 1906 and characterized it as a peculiar disease.
It is a progressive form of dementia that gradually destroys someone’s memory and thinking abilities. Even the simplest tasks are hard to perform. Thus, it could affect an elderly person’s cognitive functions and they need someone to rely on to carry out basic activities of daily living.
According to WHO (World Health Organization), around 50 million people have dementia worldwide, and 60-70% of those cases have Alzheimer's disease.
Symptoms of Alzheimer's
Its cause might be difficult to understand, but it could be distinguished based on its symptoms. Alzheimer's has three stages of symptoms, as explained below:
Mild Alzheimer's disease - a person might suffer severe memory loss and other cognitive difficulties.
Moderate Alzheimer's disease - affects language, sensory processing, and reasoning.
Severe Alzheimer's disease - plaques (beta-amyloid) and tangles (tau) gradually kill nerve cells. Plus, the brain shrinks substantially. Communicating and reasoning with such patients becomes impossible. They also need 24/7 assistance from a caregiver as they may become bedridden.
Who is likely to get this?
Unfortunately, Alzheimer's disease is not only for the elderly. There are two types of it, namely, Early-onset Alzheimer's disease (30s to mid-60s) and Late-onset Alzheimer's disease.(mid-60s and above).
How to support someone with Alzheimer’s?
As cognitive and emotional abilities decline day by day, it forces a patient to feel isolated. They might also refuse favorite hobbies or pastimes because they’ve forgotten how to do it, or lost their zest for life.
Sadly, there is no definite cure or medication for Alzheimer's yet. The best thing to do is put them under various therapies that can improve their well-being and mental health.
A picture indeed paints a thousand words for Alzheimer's patients. It is more than creating or viewing pretty artwork, but it can awaken distant memories and encourage communication.
Music and dance can be a powerful duo to help reactivate the mental, social, physical, and emotional skills.
In a recent study from Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, dancing is better than a traditional workout to slow the signs of aging. When you dance, you have to remember the steps and synchronize it with the beat of the music
Even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) approves pet therapy. Playing with a pet can reduce blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and triglyceride levels. Spending time with them can decrease loneliness and help manage depression.
However, be mindful that pets have different temperaments that can lead to overwhelming stimulation. Alzheimer's patients have unpredictable behavior that could lead to aggression when it comes to enthusiastic furry companions.
Luckily, there is an alternative solution through lifelike pets such as Perfect Petzzz.
How do lifelike pets support Alzheimer's patients?
Based on an article from Medical Xpress, it is a "good alternative for people with dementia who are scared of animals or live in a home or healthcare facility that does not accept animals for fear of infections or other issues, such as allergies, bites or scratches." It's perfect for Alzheimer's patients who are experiencing a decline in motor skills and can't keep up active lifestyles.
Perfect Petzzz are as soft and huggable as living pets, yet they are more behaved than their real counterparts. Alternative pets like these just sleep peacefully on their plush bed and emit cute little snores. People with Alzheimer's can get unlimited hugs and pets from it without interruptions.
Further, it garnered rave reviews on Amazon. One reviewer who gifted it to the elderly individual suffering from dementia said, "This item was a gift for an elder, age 83, now residing in a locked ward for people with dementia. Having lost so much and sadly lacking good interpersonal skills, this person remains a devoted lover of dogs. When presented with this "pet," she was lifted out of herself, stroked the puppy, talked to it, named it, and wept with happiness. Priceless."
Each Perfect Petzzz bundle comes with a soft pet made of 100% synthetic fur, collar with pet tag, new plush pet bed, pet brush, and an adoption certificate! It's available for purchase through our our Amazon site. For any other inquiries, contact us here.