Caregivers of Alzheimer’s suffer more than they do

Caregivers of people with Alzheimer's disease typically
suffer deeply when their loved ones are upset or agitated about something,
states a Huffington Post article.
But there is a way to reduce that emotional distress. It's very
simple. You just have to be aware that most people with cognitive impairment
live only in the present (although they may maintain memories of
emotionally-charged incidents.) This means that people with Alzheimer's have
the following traits:

1. They usually quickly forget unpleasant things that happen to them

2. They often adapt to change faster than their caregivers do

3. They typically don't worry about the future

Let's look at each issue:

1. People with Alzheimer's usually quickly forget unpleasant things
that happen to them

People with cognitive impairment usually don't stew about bad things that
happen to them. That's because of the disease. They don't fret over things that
happen simply because they don't remember them.

Yet caregivers who experience their loved one's distress over some issue
tend to become quite upset. The reason is that caregivers don't easily
and quickly forget painful things that happen to their loved ones. They suffer
long after the person with Alzheimer's has completely forgotten the issue and
moved on.

2. People with Alzheimer's often adapt to change faster than their
caregivers do

People with dementia, particularly those in the mid- to late-stages, often
adjust to change more easily than their loved ones do because they don't
remember how things were before the change. Thus, they are not aware any change
has taken place. This is especially true if the change is applied in a
consistent manner with a lot of structure and a regular routine.

3. People with Alzheimer's typically don't worry about the future

People with cognitive decline, especially those in the mid- to late stages,
typically don't worry about the future. They don't experience the kind of
anxiety about the future that we may because they don't have the mental
capacity to do so.

So
one secret, to reducing your emotional distress is to remain aware that your
loved one probably lives only in the present. That way you can be more at peace
when he or she gets upset about something. You will be able to end your own
suffering as quickly as your loved one does and then you can both move on to
something pleasant.

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