Although most people are familiar with the link between Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, it’s common for other causes of cognitive decline to be overlooked. Today, alcohol-induced dementia cases are beginning to rise, which means it’s time for caregivers and their senior loved ones to have honest discussions about the potential dangers of alcohol consumption.
Understand How Alcohol Affects the Body
Today, the news is filled with stories about the benefits of drinking. For instance, some research has shown drinking a daily glass of red wine may have benefits for some seniors. However, this isn’t true for everyone, and it’s possible for seniors to overindulge if they’re depressed. Drinking too much alcohol can deplete the body’s vitamin B stores, which can lead to a condition called Korsakoff syndrome, a form of dementia.
Alcoholism is a serious concern that may interfere with your loved one’s health and wellbeing. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional home care service. Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.
Recognize the Symptoms of Alcoholism
Naturally, you might notice if your loved one seems inebriated, or you may find multiple empty bottles in the trash. However, other signs of alcoholism may be subtler. For instance, your loved one may exhibit confusion or an inability to control body movements. Your loved one may also begin to make up falsehoods he or she actually believes to fill in the blanks left behind by dementia. These symptoms should always be reported to your loved one’s medical team.
Erase the Stigma with Compassionate Care
The stigma associated with heavy drinking can cause some seniors to avoid telling others about their behavior. Encourage your loved one to be honest with his or her medical team so they can identify if alcohol might be the underlying cause of the symptoms. An accurate diagnosis can help your family move forward with the right treatment plan.
Dementia can be challenging for seniors to manage, but they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional dementia care. Richmond seniors can benefit greatly from the Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), an activities-based program designed to promote cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia. CTM is included at no additional charge with any of the in-home care plans provided by Home Care Assistance.
Alert Other Caregivers to the Issue
A senior’s privacy and dignity should always be respected. However, you may need to let other caregivers know if your loved one is working on an alcohol cessation plan. This way, they can also look for warning signs or relay their concerns about new or continuing symptoms of dementia they see. Surrounding your loved one with a team of compassionate caregivers lets him or her know a strong support system is in place.
Seek Mental Health Support
A dementia diagnosis is challenging enough for seniors and their caregivers to manage, and you may find it especially difficult when alcohol is also involved. Seek out support services such as mental health counseling for you and your loved one. Try to find a senior-friendly addiction support group that can help your loved one choose positive strategies instead of turning to alcohol.
To reduce their risk of dementia, seniors should try to drink in moderation. If your loved one needs assistance making healthier lifestyle choices, consider hiring a professional in-home caregiver. In Richmond, at-home care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy. If your loved one needs assistance with the challenges of aging, reach out to one of our knowledgeable, compassionate Care Managers today at (804) 207-4746.