Information

Lifestyle and home remedies for Dementia

Date Posted: 03.07.2012

Lifestyle and home remedies

You can take steps to improve quality of life as Dementia progresses.  Here are some tips from the world renowned Mayo Clinic in the USA on dealing with dementia in the home :

Carry a reminder calendar
Use a calendar to record upcoming events as well as things you want to remember later and activities you need to complete on a daily basis. Then check off those activities when done. If you can make this process a habit when memory problems are mild, you'll be more likely to retain this skill as the disease progresses. For example, if you can't remember if you took your pills or who called that morning, you can check your calendar.

Maintain a calm and stable home environment
A calm and stable home environment reduces problems such as anxiety, agitation and excess confusion. New situations or people, disrupted routines, loud noises, feeling rushed, or being asked to complete multistep tasks can cause frustration and lead to anxiety. When you have dementia such as Alzheimer's disease, becoming upset reduces the ability to think clearly even more.

Establish a nighttime ritual
Dementia behaviors may be worse at night when the person with dementia is more tired, strained by the demands of the day or perhaps confused because of the decrease in daylight. Try to establish going-to-bed rituals that are calming. It can be helpful to retreat from the noise of television, meal cleanup and active family members. Leaving night lights on helps prevent disorientation. In addition, limiting caffeine during the day, avoiding daytime napping and exercising during the day may help prevent nighttime restlessness.

Create a plan
Develop a comprehensive plan that identifies goals for care. Various support agencies, care centers, primary and specialty doctors, legal advisers, and other family members can help achieve these goals. This process may or may not be something in which a person with dementia can participate. Here are some things for families to consider:
What is the long-term prognosis, and what is the plan for treatment?
Is independent living possible? If not, will care be provided in a family home or a nursing home?
Does support need to be provided for things such as meal preparation, daily hygiene and taking medications?
If independent or semi-independent living isn't possible, who will be the primary caregiver?
What about driving? Should it continue?
Are there safety measures, such as installing bed and bathroom safety rails and removing or securing knives and other dangerous substances or objects, that need to be addressed?
What assistance is available through adult care centers, in-home nursing care or other agencies?
What about legal issues such as a living will and power of attorney for health care issues? What are your wishes?

Keep in mind that the disease will evolve over time, and care needs to be adjusted as symptoms change and progress. People with dementia should be encouraged to continue their normal activities as long as they're safe and the activities don't cause frustration or confusion. Mental, social and physical activities help maintain a person's health and well-being.
 

Source : Mayo Clinic staff


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