How to manage dementia: Expert Tips to Help You Cope With the Disease

Treatment of Dementia | Parkinson's Foundation
As we age, our brains can experience a variety of changes, some of these changes are good for our cognitive abilities, such as improving our memory, other changes are not so good, like an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

 

If you’re caring for a loved one who has dementia, you’re experiencing a common challenge that affects millions of Americans, you’re likely wondering how to manage dementia. Fortunately, there are many ways to cope with the disease. 

 

Create a Relaxing Environment

 

If your loved one has dementia, it’s important to create a relaxing environment for them, you don’t want to overstimulate your brain with too many tasks or stimuli. 

 

It can be easy to forget that they need this type of environment, especially if they have an aggressive form of dementia, one way to create a relaxing environment is by removing all TVs in the home and avoiding noises that could be startling, like a dog barking or loud music.

Exercise and Strive for Balance

 

Exercise boosts cognitive abilities and prevents some types of physical diseases, it also helps your loved one manage their symptoms better, physical activity can keep your loved one’s mood balanced, which can help lessen the effects of dementia.

 

Exercise is a simple way to help boost your loved one’s cognitive skills that may be declining due to dementia, it can also help them with their mood and anxiety levels, making it easier for you both to cope with the disease.

Set Up a Communication Plan

 

Some of the most important things to manage dementia is you can do to help your loved one with dementia are to allow them to ask questions, speak freely, and be open about their feelings, however, it might be difficult for them to express themselves- or even remember what they’re trying to say.

 

It’s important that you set up a communication plan with your loved one before the disease progresses, this is a good way for you and your loved one to both feel more comfortable in conversation. Try using words or phrases that will make sense to your loved ones when they forget what they’re trying to say.

 

 You could also try setting up a time each day where you have conversations with your loved ones about their thoughts and feelings.

Take Advantage of Everyday Activities

 

Activities like reading, playing games, or watching movies will keep their brain active and engaged, you can also engage in conversations with your loved one to stimulate their memory.

 

In addition to everyday activities, make sure you take advantage of opportunities to do new things with your loved ones, for example, if they’ve never gone fishing before, take them fishing, the experience will be new and exciting for them and will encourage their brain to retain the information it needs.

 

Another way you can help your loved ones is by modifying their environment in a way that supports their condition. 

 

Modifying their environment can include making things more accessible or easier for them to remember, for example, if they have a hard time remembering where the bathroom is located, place a sign near the door so they know where it is every time. 

 

It’s important that you maintain consistency across the board when modifying your loved one’s environment this means don’t modify certain parts of the house while neglecting others.

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