Alzheimer’s disease is a form of dementia characterized by progressive memory loss and cognitive decline that occurs in stages. It’s a condition that can have a significant impact on an older adult’s quality of life over time. As for whether or not it’s curable, the answer is “no,” at least not yet. But there are ways to manage the symptoms and possibly slow the disease’s progression.
It Helps to Embrace Good Eating Habits
While you can’t prevent Alzheimer’s disease from advancing altogether, there’s an abundance of research suggesting eating brain-friendly foods may slow the progression of its symptoms. Chicago researchers have developed what they call the MIND diet, which is designed to boost cognitive functions. The MIND diet includes:
• Green, leafy veggies
• Nuts and berries
• Beans and whole grains
• Fish and poultry
• Olive oil
• Wine—just a glass a day, though
Following a healthy diet is just one of the many ways your loved one can remain healthy and stave off the effects of Alzheimer’s. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional home care, Richmond, VA, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.
Exercise Is Equally Beneficial for Seniors with Alzheimer’s
According to research presented at an annual American Psychological Association meeting, elderly individuals may experience fewer cognitive symptoms with regular exercise. The study the researchers referenced suggests 30 minutes of daily exercise may reduce Alzheimer’s symptoms. What’s great about exercise is that it can be done in many ways, from daily walking to water-based exercises, and adjusted to your loved one’s capabilities as the condition advances.
Medications May Help with Memory Symptoms
There are currently two classes of drugs approved to manage the cognitive symptoms related to Alzheimer’s disease. Cholinesterase inhibitors increase brain cell communication by preserving the chemical messengers typically depleted by Alzheimer’s, and memantine may slow the progression of symptoms associated with moderate-to-severe Alzheimer’s.
Creating a Safe, Supportive Environment Is Essential
Another effective way to manage Alzheimer’s is by taking steps to make your loved one’s immediate environment as safe and supportive as possible. During the early stages of the disease, this might involve removing fall hazards like loose rugs, using a whiteboard or chalkboard to remind your loved one of important dates like doctor’s appointments, and providing assistance with monthly bills and household tasks. As the disease progresses, your loved one may benefit from:
• A consistent schedule to minimize confusion
• Sturdy handrails and other assistive devices placed around the home
• Memory-based activities that might include word puzzles or the use of cognitive activity apps like Lumosity and CogniFit Brain Fitness
• Listening to music, dancing, and other activities that present opportunities to socialize and stimulate different areas of the brain
An in-home caregiver can help your loved one stay safe at home and manage the other challenges of Alzheimer’s disease. Living alone at home in the golden years can present a few unique challenges. Trust elder care professionals to help your senior loved one maintain a higher quality of life while he or she manages an illness and performs the daily tasks of living.
Learning More About Alzheimer’s Is Just as Helpful
Taking some time to learn more about what you can expect as Alzheimer’s progresses allows you to adjust the level of care you provide for your loved one as you notice changes in his or her mental and physical health. On a positive note, the early and middle stages of the disease can last for many years before the final stage of Alzheimer’s begins. And with proper care, your loved one can live a comfortable and enjoyable life for many years.
If your elderly loved one is living with Alzheimer’s and needs help managing the symptoms, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of Alzheimer’s care. Richmond, VA, seniors can rely on our revolutionary Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), an activities-based program that promotes cognitive health and delays the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. CTM also encourages seniors to engage with others in an enjoyable way and helps them build new routines to look forward to. Find out how we can best assist your loved one by calling Richmond (804) 741-0009 or Williamsburg (757) 220-3151 and scheduling a complimentary consultation.