After all, people with Down’s syndrome get old, too. Like everyone else, they’re living longer, and, thus, getting Alzheimer’s.
Many high-functioning Down’s Syndrome patients have lived productive lives, and have been active participants in family life. With Alzheimer’s, however, they’ll start to lose their memory, and eventually, the ability to perform even the simplest of tasks.
As with any other Alzheimer’s patient, the changes will make family members feel they’re losing the person they’ve known and loved all these years. It’s a long, drawn-out, traumatic experience – for both the patient and the family. And it’s a heart-breaking one.
I recently heard about a man whose brother has Down’s Syndrome, and now, Alzheimer’s. This man is having trouble understanding – and dealing with – the changes his brother’s going through. His brother still looks the same…so he’s surprised when his brother doesn’t act the same.
In fact, his brother is acting the same…the same as every other Alzheimer’s patient.
How do you treat an Alzheimer’s patient who also has Down’s Syndrome (or any other condition)? The same way you treat any Alzheimer’s patient. With dignity. With respect. And with the willingness to allow them to participate in household life at whatever level they can…even if that may mean more work for you.
Lower your expectations. Applaud the effort. Accept him as he is…or else you’ll put too much pressure on him. And let him experience the feeling of success, even if it’s only in little ways.
At The Law Offices of Alice Reiter Feld & Associates, we’ve been working with South Florida Alzheimer’s patients and their families for 33 years. And we’ve helped thousands of families who just needed estate planning, wills, trusts, preserving assets, durable powers of attorney, Medicaid or VA assistance, long-term-care planning, or assistance in arranging for assisted-living or nursing home facilities. If it has to do with Elder Care or Elder Law, we’ve done it – many, many times!
The Elder Care journey can be a grueling one for a family – especially if it involves Alzheimer’s. We’ll be there for you every step of the way. With professionalism. With concern. And with a single-minded determination to safeguard your family’s legal rights and privileges.
We’re just a phone call away.