Time distortion is one of the many challenging effects of Alzheimer’s disease. As an essential function of the human brain, the perception of time is a large part of what keeps people grounded in reality and able to interact with others in a positive and normal way. Toronto, ON, caregivers discuss how Alzheimer’s can affect a senior’s sense of time.
How Time Perception Is Lost
Clinically referred to as dyschronometria, the failure to accurately track the passage of time can make minutes seem like hours and vice versa. Dyschronometria occurs as the result of cerebellar damage and leads to short-term memory loss, diminished spatial awareness, and an increased inability to track time. If your aging loved one appears panicked or worried after you’ve stepped out for a very short time, his or her perception of how long you’ve been gone is likely to be quite different from your own. During the early stages of Alzheimer’s, many aging adults often wander aimlessly with little or no cognizance of the significant amounts of time that have passed.
Inability to Stay Connected with the Present Moment
Seniors with Alzheimer’s may also find it difficult to stay connected to the present moment. They may expect their adult children to be young children or their current homes to look like their former ones. During times of lucidity, these individuals can have a surprising ability to connect with and remain in the present moment. However, these events are often few and far between and are limited in their duration. Certain therapies and activities can help seniors feel more connected with their families despite the distorted sense of time, which may be beneficial in slowing the physiological progression of the neurological damage caused by Alzheimer’s.
Not surprisingly, many of the behavioral disorders seniors with Alzheimer’s develop are directly related to time distortion. When the environments and people seniors are confronted with do not match their expectations, this can create a strong sense of loneliness. Many people with Alzheimer’s feel as though they are being tricked and like the whole world is conspiring against them, which can lead to anger, frustration, outbursts, and depression.
Helping Your Senior Loved One Feel More Connected
When providing your loved one with Toronto Alzheimer’s care, there are a number of things you can do to alleviate the mental and emotional effects of time distortion. For instance, devising and maintaining a firm daily schedule may provide the consistency your loved one needs for feeling safe in his or her environment. Unexpected additions to your loved one’s schedule can have a significant impact on his or her sense of overall balance and wellbeing. Looking at and talking about old photographs, telling stories about past events, and keeping the organization of the living space fairly static are all things that can contribute to feelings of consistency and safety.
Managing Alzheimer’s can be a challenge for seniors and their families, and many family caregivers become overwhelmed with trying to provide their loved ones with the high-quality Alzheimer’s care their loved ones need and deserve. Turn to Home Care Assistance for expertly trained caregivers who can provide your loved one with mental stimulation and assist with essential daily tasks. For more information on the elderly home care Toronto families trust, call (416) 488-8777 today.