There’s no cure for Alzheimer’s disease. Still, there are ways symptoms experienced by someone with this progressive condition can be treated or managed. Let’s take a moment to focus on six of the more effective treatments that could boost quality of life for someone with Alzheimer’s.
1. Ensure Your Loved One Takes His or Her Medication
If the doctor prescribes medication for your loved one, make sure your parent takes the proper dosages at the correct times. Certain medications may help with some of the memory-related and cognitive symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s. Medications commonly recommended for those with Alzheimer’s include:
• Cholinesterase inhibitors – These drugs enhance the ability of brain cells to communicate with one another. Medications of this nature may reduce agitation or depression.
• Memantine – This medication may slow the progression of symptoms in those with moderate to severe Alzheimer’s.
• Antidepressants – Some seniors with Alzheimer’s respond well to the use of antidepressants to ease behavioral symptoms.
One of the most important things to consider is whether to hire a professional caregiver for your loved one. Families looking for top-rated senior care providers can reach out to Home Care Assistance. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones.
2. Manage the Home Environment
Take steps to create a safe and comfortable environment for your senior loved one during the different stages of Alzheimer’s disease. This is especially important during the later stages of the disease, when there’s the possibility your loved one may wander at night due to sleep cycle disruptions and confusion about the time of day. Environmental management may involve:
• Removing excess furniture and fall hazards such as throw rugs
• Installing handrails in bathrooms and along stairs
• Reducing the number of mirrors in the home, since seniors with Alzheimer’s sometimes become confused or frightened by reflected images
• Keeping familiar and meaningful items around the home
• Installing door alarms to prevent wandering into outdoor spaces
3. Develop Strategies for Sleep-Related Problems
It’s common for seniors with Alzheimer’s to have sleep disorders, but it’s not fully understood why this happens. Increased daytime napping and changes in what happens during the various stages of sleep are believed to be contributing factors. Treatment for sleep issues may include:
• Medical attention for restless legs syndrome, sleep apnea, or other underlying health issues that could affect sleep
• Daily exercise, but not too close to bedtime
• Attention to any underlying issues that may be causing pain
• More morning sunlight exposure
• Adjustments to medications that may be affecting sleep habits
If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of in-home care South Tampa, FL, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
4. Encourage Regular Exercise
From maintaining a healthy weight to reducing anxiety and boosting mood, there are many physical and mental benefits associated with regular exercise for seniors with Alzheimer’s. Your loved one may also notice enhancements in balance, coordination, and even sleep habits with the right amount of physical activity.
While you’ll want to check with your loved one’s doctor first, types of exercise generally considered safe for those with Alzheimer’s include:
• 30–40 minutes of daily walking
• Chair yoga to safely increase balance
• Stationary bike use
• Water-based activities
• Weight training, which has been associated with cognitive enhancement in older adults
5. Manage Nutrition
People with Alzheimer’s may lose interest in certain foods or just forget to eat altogether. Because proper nutrition is especially important for older adults, it’s essential for caregivers to encourage a healthy, well-balanced diet. Nutrient-packed supplement milkshakes can be a good alternative to traditional meals if your loved one is really fussy about food.
6. Provide Appropriate Social Stimulation
Social interactions and activities can help someone with Alzheimer’s maintain important human connections while also stimulating various parts of the brain in a way that’s both beneficial and enjoyable. Social stimulation for seniors with Alzheimer’s might involve:
• Music or art therapy
• Gardening and other enjoyable hobbies
• Social events at local senior centers
• Family outings or in-home gatherings with family members and close friends
Alzheimer’s can be challenging for seniors to manage without assistance, and it can be just as challenging for families who don’t have experience in providing Alzheimer’s care. South Tampa Home Care Assistance provides Alzheimer’s care seniors and their families can depend on. Our proprietary Cognitive Therapeutics Method was designed to help seniors with Alzheimer’s and other memory-related conditions live happier and healthier lives. Home Care Assistance can be your trusted partner when your loved one needs help with the challenges of aging. Call us today at (813) 488-5804 to learn about our high-quality in-home Alzheimer’s care services.