To gain some insight into the lifestyle tips for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, you will first need to know what these conditions are and how they differ from each other. While dementia is a disease affecting memory, communication powers, and the performance of one’s daily activities, Alzheimer’s disease is one of the common types of dementia. It gets worse with time, affecting language, memory, and thought processes.
Younger people should also acquaint themselves with some useful lifestyle tips for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease even though they are more common as you grow older. Their symptoms may overlap, but you must be able to distinguish them to be able to treat and manage them properly. Dementia is essentially a syndrome and not a disease because it refers to a cluster of symptoms and does not have a definitive diagnosis. It may occur because of various conditions, of which Alzheimer’s disease is the most common. Given below are some lifestyle tips for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease that can help loved ones, affected by these conditions, lead normal lives:
1. Cognitive exercises
Keeping an active mind may be the best way to not lose control of one’s cognitive functions. Both young adults and children build brain reserves when they read or take up challenges that help boost their mental fitness. For older adults, these brain connections need to be tapped into through stimulating activities. For instance, adults can be encouraged to learn musical instruments, read more challenging books, study a new language, or create art.
2. Physical exercise
Getting regular exercise is important to stay healthy and avoid the risks of getting diabetes, high blood pressure, and stroke, all of which are associated with heightened risks for being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Exercise also lowers stress levels and aids them to maintain an optimum weight. For example, a combination of strength training and aerobics will increase flexibility. An individual, diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, should still be able to perform recreational activities with minor tweaks. For instance, you could make them walk with a friend or practice light gardening. When the disease progresses, you can get them a physical therapist to maintain body strength and keep their muscles toned.
3. Healthy diet
The patient needs to eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. It is advisable that they avoid sugar and unhealthy fats as these may cause chronic ailments. The diet should be rich in omega-3 fatty acids, nuts, seeds, olive oil, canola oil, salmon, and tuna. You can also include green leafy vegetables, cruciferous vegetables, carrots, tomatoes, and berries in their diet.
4. Support groups
There are dementia-friendly communities that you can get your loved ones to interact with. They help by sharing experiences, and you can also get useful tips from those who have been living with this medical condition. If the person is willing to share the details of their condition, it is advisable to inform and educate others. Some people are likely to treat them differently, either because they want to help or they have no clue about the condition. By explaining the diagnosis to them, you can ensure that you get their support and patience.
5. Quality sleep
Getting enough rest and sleep is the key to staying healthy if someone you know has dementia or Alzheimer’s. It is best to not sleep during daytime and avoid the consumption of alcohol or caffeine at night.
6. Build a routine
It is recommended that you create a daily routine for your loved ones so that they can adhere to it and schedule their activities when they feel up to it.