Home Caregiver Support Stress Management Keeping a Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease- Dealing with Dementia

Keeping a Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease- Dealing with Dementia

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journal of alzheimers disease

Journal of alzheimer’s disease

Many reasons exist for keeping a journal of alzheimer’s disease. Writing a journal is important for the person with the condition, as well as for the caregiver.  It can even be beneficial to other family members. This expression of feelings, activities and changes in the lives of those being affected is good for many reasons.  Some of the benefits to keeping a journal of Alzheimer’s disease are common to both the person affected and the caregiver or caregivers. Some of these common benefits are:

  • A feeling of gratitude is expressed for the goods days
  • It help with problem-solving
  • It helps to calm and relax
  • It reduces depression
  • It allows the person to record their thoughts of good days and pleasant memories as well as of bad days

To get the benefits of journaling, this activity needs to be done at least 20 minutes per day and preferably every day. Spelling and grammar should not be a focus as getting your feelings out is the main priority. Just writing without thought for grammatical correctness makes it easier to let your thoughts and emotions flow freely. This is therapeutic, especially since you are free to write exactly what you feel without fear. Many people who write this way are doing so just for themselves. They are usually more willing to let their anger, frustrations and fear out without worrying about whether anyone will understand.

Benefits of a Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease for the Patient

In the early stages of the disease, the affected person can find comfort in writing down their feelings by expressing their fears and hopes. Writing will also help to keep the mind and memory more alert and may even slow the progression of Alzheimer’s. As the disease progresses, the caregiver will need to offer some assistance by suggesting what to write as a prompt. People with dementia, especially memory-robbing Alzheimer’s Disease, will need help developing the habit of writing in a journal.

The caregiver may need to remind the patient to carry the journal and to write in it. Caregivers can also use this as a means of reminding the patient about daily activities. This is especially helpful in the early stages and helps to maintain the confidence of the person with the disease.

For someone with Alzheimer’s, a journal is one way to maintain a bit of independence and some professionals see this as a way of compensating for lost memory. By going back to the journal, people with Alzheimer’s can remember past incidents.

These journals also serve as a way for family members to understand what their loved one is going through. It can also provide some comfort later on when it is no longer possible for the person to write.

Benefits of a Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease for the Caregiver

Taking care of a family member with dementia can be quite stressful. Keeping a journal of what is happening and expressing one’s feelings is beneficial to the caregiver’s wellbeing. These positive feelings are often transmitted to the patient.

Writing can be a form of therapy for the caregiver as well. It helps them to express how they feel about what is happening to a loved one. This is a good way to cope with the emotional stress of the task.Senior woman writing notes at home

It also provides ‘someone’ to talk to when no one has the time or is capable of understanding. Not being able to talk to someone about fears, frustrations and even anger can lead to mental stress. Journaling is a good outlet for these thoughts. It allows the release of emotions and serves as a way to look back on their relationship with the patient.

Caregivers are not restricted to writing in a journal or diary, they can also voice record or even post their thoughts online. Many caregivers use blogs to keep family and friends up-to-date with what is happening. For others it is a way to share with others experiencing the same trials or who have gone through caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s. This also allows for the sharing of encouragement and advice.

The information in a journal can be very useful when talking to healthcare providers as the information tracks the progression of the disease.  The changes that occur and the timing can help to gauge the success of treatment options.  This is a great reason why a caregiver should try to write a journal of Alzheimer’s disease.

Writing a journal of Alzheimer ’s disease is beneficial for everyone concerned. Plus, studies have been done which show that journaling reduces the number of doctor visits for some people. Blood pressure levels, asthma and other conditions improve once journaling becomes a daily activity.  Not only will it improve care, it also reduces the stress levels of the caregivers and even aids medical professionals. Knowing how someone with this condition feels will help make it easier to know how to treat them.

Since language and writing skills deteriorate, the diary or diaries of the early stages can help family members hold on to a piece of the person before the final stages of the disease. As such, a journal of Alzheimer’s disease can bring comfort to family members as they get to share in the feelings of their loved ones. The improvements that this allows in caring for the person with dementia are no longer a matter of conjecture. Enough scientific proof exists to support all the health benefits that result from writing a diary.

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SOURCES

http://www.self-esteem-health.com/benefits-of-journal-writing.html

http://www.writeforwellness.com/site/services.html

http://apt.rcpsych.org/content/11/5/338.full

http://www.alzheimersreadingroom.com/2010/09/alzheimers-disease-art-of-journal.html