As a caregiver, Alzheimer’s disease is likely something that is on your mind much of the time. You may worry that your parents will receive a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia. Any time that they exhibit a strange behavior or forget something, you might worry that they are heading toward a diagnosis, and you may find yourself wondering what you would do if you heard that your loved one has the disease. Though you do not want to worry too much about this potential or allow it to become an obsession that can damage your quality of life and ability to care for your loved ones, thinking about it does give you the urge to learn more about the disease and create your own plans for how you would approach it if this disease were to become a part of your caregiver journey with them.
While you are going through this thought process, one thing that may not immediately come to mind is the different ways that Alzheimer’s disease would impact your mother and your father. Though most people usually think about Alzheimer’s disease as one of those conditions that impacts people relatively equally and that your care approach for one of your parents would be essentially the same as for the other. The truth, however, is that this disease impacts men and women differently and the care approach you design for each should be catered to their needs.
Some things that you should know about men and women reacting to Alzheimer’s differently, and the condition impacting the sexes differently, include:
• Due to several factors, not the least of which is a considerably longer life expectancy, women are more likely than men to develop Alzheimer’s disease. From an age perspective, women have longer lives in which to potentially develop the disease, meaning that many men might have the potential to develop it but not live long enough for it to manifest.
• There is a growing trend of men seeking out care during the progression of their disease. This means that senior men are more open about their health and conditions, and more likely to be willing to accept care, enabling you to form a better care approach and help your aging father live a higher quality of life as he ages in place. Even still, men tend to be far less likely to discuss their illness or ask for help.
• Men are 8 percent more likely than women to exhibit potentially dangerous wandering behaviors.
• Men are 30 percent more likely than women to demonstrate combative and potentially violent behaviors. This often means that female family caregivers have a more difficult time handling their seniors and may be more likely to hire professional assistance than they would be if they were caring for an aging woman.
• The care community is often geared toward women due to the higher number of female seniors and the greater likelihood of a senior in a care relationship being a woman. This can have a negative emotional impact on your aging father and cause confusion or emotional upset.
• Men with Alzheimer’s are far more likely than women to exhibit aggressive behaviors, which can create fear and intimidation in family caregivers as well as care providers and it is essential to form care approaches that deal with these behaviors properly.
If you or an aging loved one are considering caregiver services in Phoenix, AZ, contact the caring staff at Assisting Hands Home Care at (480) 725-7002.
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