Alzheimer’s is a chronic neurodegenerative disease that usually starts slowly and worsens over the passage of time. The cause of Alzheimer’s disease is poorly understood, which is why there is no authentic cause identified yet. However, 70% of the risk is believed to be genetic. Some other risks that can lead to Alzheimer’s at some stage of life include the history of head injuries, depression, or hypertension. As the tangles in brain increase, the diseases processes and gets severe. A probable diagnosis of the disease is based on the history of the illness and cognitive testing with lots of blood tests and medical imaging to rule out other possible causes.
Symptoms of Alzheimer’s
The initial symptoms of the disease are usually mistaken as the signs of aging. However, as the disease progresses; possible symptoms are:
- Language problems
- Mood swings
- Loss of motivation
- Unable to manage self-care
- Behavioral issues
- Withdrawal from family and society
At the later stages of disease; some of the obvious symptoms are:
- Loss of bodily functions
- Severe memory loss
The exact diagnosis of the problem can be made after examining the brain tissues. Sadly, there are no supplements or medications that can decrease the risk once the symptoms start showing. Mental and physical exercises can slow down the development process of the disease but cannot prevent diseases.
How is massage helpful for Alzheimer Patients?
Alzheimer patients need care and love from their friends and family. It is the only thing that can bring them to life. Affection is a key factor in treating any kind of illness; physical, mental or emotional. However, massages can be really helpful as well. A friendly touch is extremely soothing for Alzheimer patients. Therapeutic massages are a natural way to calm agitated Alzheimer patients. Alzheimer is a form of dementia, and for all dementia patients touch has turned out to be comforting and encouraging. Under a study, an Alzheimer patient was inquired about how he feels about being touched? He said that they need to be touched gently not only when they are babies but for their whole life.
Here are some amazing benefits of therapeutic massage for Alzheimer patients.
The quality of life – massages enhance the quality of life for Alzheimer patients. It helps them to relax, and sleep better. According to a well-known massage therapist, massage gives psychosocial benefits to the patient. However, when you touch a patient and massage with lotions; it soothes the skin and increases the blood circulation. This way the medicines effect better and nerves remain relaxed.
Memory loss – as the blood circulation improves, the process of memory loss slows down. When an Alzheimer patient gets regular massages, positive progress can be seen in memory loss. A ten-minute massage at the right place can be relaxing and comforting for the patient.
Disruptive behavior – massages have positive effects on other symptoms of Alzheimer’s. Not only hand massage but massaging chairs also have same level of benefits for Alzheimer’s patients. Massages are quite effective on disruptive behavior and wandering habits of the patient.
Lost dignity – touch is something a patient needs. It is a natural behavior that when a person is sick, he feels unwanted and undesirable. So, massages can bring back their lost dignity. It develops a bond a trust between the therapist and the patient.
Interaction – massages help the Alzheimer patients to interact easily. The confidence they lose due to being sick can be retrieved by talking to them. Massages give them the confidence to interact with other people so they can express their feelings and thoughts.
Endorphin levels – as massages improve the blood circulation, endorphin levels are raised. Endorphin contributes towards the overall health of the body.
Brain activity – the boost in blood flow due to therapeutic massage improves the brain activity of the patient. It makes them active and more aware of their health status.
No perfect treatment plan is designed for Alzheimer’s. However, there are always ways to soothe the patients and retain their confidence and dignity.
THIS GUEST POST WAS WRITTEN BY JENNY HARRISON