Elderly care for Alzheimer’s

Elderly Care for Alzheimer’s

Elderly care for Alzheimer’s comes with lots of challenges. Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s is life-changing both for the patient as well as his or her family and friends. BK Biswas, a retired senior accounts officer at the railway board, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2009. As the disease progressed, he developed problems with memory, thinking and behaviour.

Madhumita, Biswas’s daughter, recalls how traumatising the years that have gone by have been. It was only around 2 years back that the family decided to seek professional help. They approached home nursing care provider Life Circle for elderly care for Alzheimer’s.

Elderly Care for Alzheimer’s: Author’s note

Madhumita explains; “My dad can’t relate anything. His mental function is getting deteriorated. And he needs 24-hour assistance. My mother took care of my father earlier but as his health has now completely deteriorated, she is unable to do this all by herself”.

Biswas’s wife took care of him for almost seven years. As the disease progressed,  Biswas was unable to comprehend instructions, grew increasingly aggressive and his functionality got significantly affected. It became difficult for his wife to care for him all by herself as she was getting old too and was arthritic. She visits a neighbourhood Ayurvedic clinic every week to undergo physiotherapy sessions. While she is away, the caregiver from Life Circle takes care of the patient thus giving her the much-needed break. “I see that my mother gets the much-needed respite with the caregiver from Life Circle”, reflects Madhumita when asked about the changes in the family’s lifestyle since they engaged a home attendant from Life Circle two years ago.

Home attendant of Elderly Care for Alzheimer’s

Putul Kumari hails from a village in Jharkhand. She is the second of five daughters. After finishing class X, she trained to become a caregiver at a skills training institute in Ranchi. Her cheerful demeanour is evident when she talks of her elder sister who is getting married shortly. Putul diligently saved her earnings from her job in order to contribute to the wedding expenses. She cannot wait for the big day. And she also wants to help her three younger sisters to study more than her. Putul’s dad is a marginal farmer. So her financial contribution is a great help to the family.

The home attendant’s voice

Putul is passionate about her job and explains with a sense of accomplishment, “Pehle uncle humko kuch nahi karne dete the, ab humari sab baat sunte hain. Sirf shave karte waqt hum aunty ka madat lete hain, wo bhi isliye kyunki humko daar hai uncle ko kahin kat na jaye (Initially, the patient did not allow me to do anything. But now he listens to me and responds well. I take aunty’s help only when he needs a shave because I am scared that if I do that single-handedly, he might get hurt)”.

The care regimen

Putul helps the senior with activities of daily living (ADLs). She helps him to the terrace for an hour-long walk and is around him at all times thus ensuring his safety. Putul follows a daily schedule. A person with Alzheimer’s eventually needs the caregiver’s assistance to organise his or her day. Structured and pleasant activities reduce signs of agitation and improve mood.

Providing elderly care for Alzheimer’s disease is very challenging. In the early stages, a person may remain independent and need very little care. However, as the disease progresses, the care needs to intensify, eventually leading to a need for round-the-clock assistance.

About the author

Aparajita has a background in dentistry and has done a Masters’s in Public health from the EHESP- French school of public health. She has worked at organizations such as WHO(Geneva), URC- Eco(Paris), HandsOn Suburban Chicago & NWSRA(Chicago). Now she is working at Life Circle as the care coordination officer. She believes it’s best when career and passion come together. Her vision to bring some grass-roots level change through organized efforts gives her the drive to work. In her spare time, she loves moving around the city, exploring new places and making memories.

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