Disorientation and Alzheimers Disease
in the Home
Disorientation inside the home can eventually become a problem though not until much later in the disease.
This is why it's so important that absolutely nothing is moved or changed around in the home of someone who is suffering from Alzheimers disease. Moving furniture or their own items confuses them and makes the problem worse.
Sameness and continuity are important to the person suffering from Alzheimers disease. If their routine continues undisturbed, they will remain continent, eat, go to bed or switch on the television because this is their familiar routine.
It's well known by carers and professionals that Alzheimer sufferers are much happier living in their own homes for as long as it is possible to keep them there. Once they are moved to a strange environment their acute confusion becomes much worse and more apparent to often distressed relatives and friends.
A classic example of Alzheimer sufferers being moved to another environment is if they are admitted to hospital. Because this is such a busy bustling environment, their confusion and disorientation becomes frighteningly apparent.
Many carers and friends think it is the fault of the hospital that their relative or friend appears so different, but it's usually because the Alzheimer sufferer has been able to disguise their waning cognitive skills by embracing their familiar comfortable environment. It's only when they are "torn" from it that problems become apparent. They often become incontinent, refuse to eat, and become tearful and depressed.
This is why admitting someone with Alzheimers disease to hospital should only be done as a last resort; otherwise they run the risk of being deprived of their last precarious hold on reality and independence.
An Alzheimers sufferer assessed in a hospital environment making a cup of tea, or performing other tasks would probably perform poorly, yet if asked to perform that same task at home would probably do moderately well.
This is because they have slipped back into their own comfortable routine, and is why home visits for people suffering from Alzheimers are so important after they have been admitted to hospital to ensure they are not being assessed wrongly and placed in an inappropriate environment.
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