6 Ways to Manage Alzheimer’s Disease

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by Wendy Henderson |

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The treatment of Alzheimer’s is multifaceted, and can include medication, environment, exercise, and diet. As the disease progresses, patients will require different treatment plans. We’ve compiled a list of ways to manage Alzheimer’s disease based on information from the Mayo Clinic.

1. Medications: A variety of medications are used in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, including cholinesterase inhibitors which act by boosting the communication of brain cells and memantine which slows down the progression of the symptoms of the disease. These medications can often have side effects, including sleep disturbance, nausea, loss of appetite, diarrhea, constipation, dizziness, headache and a slow heart rate.

Antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs may also be prescribed, but these can increase the risk of falls for the patients.

MORE: How communication is affected by Alzheimer’s disease

2. Safe environment: Creating a safe and familiar environment is paramount for Alzheimer’s patients. Reduce the risk of accidents by keeping ample space around furniture and removing any loose rugs or other tripping hazards. Keeping everyday objects in places where the patient can easily find them will make day-to-day living easier.

Keeping keys, mobile phones and wallets together in an easy-to-remember place will make leaving the house less challenging. A tracking device or app set up on a mobile phone will give loved ones peace of mind if the Alzheimer’s patient becomes lost or confused.

Place familiar objects such as family photographs and souvenirs around the house to help prompt memory.

Remove unnecessary mirrors, patients with Alzheimer’s can become confused by mirrors so confine them to the bathroom.

3. Routine: Keeping a routine is important for Alzheimer’s patients. Try to keep appointments and social events to the same time and day each week. A large chalkboard or blackboard with the daily activities recorded on it will help everyone keep track.

MORE: Better understand Alzheimer’s disease and how it affects the brain

4. Exercise: If possible, exercise. Gentle exercise can help with overall health, combat stress, aid sleep and improve moods. For patients whose walking has become impaired, try gentle cycling on a stationary bike or some simple chair exercises that can be performed at home to help with circulation and muscle strength.

5. Diet: Alzheimer’s patients may forget to eat and drink or have trouble preparing their own food. Leaving healthy, filling snacks in the fridge or preparing calorie-rich smoothies can help to ensure they’re getting enough nutrients.

Offer lots of water or juice during the day, but limit evening drinks and caffeinated drinks as these will prompt the need for the bathroom throughout the night.

Try to prepare meals that are easy to chew and digest.

6. Supplements: There are supplements such as vitamins D and E, omega-3, and curcumin that Alzheimer’s patients may benefit from taking, while these will not slow down or reverse the disease, they may help with the everyday symptoms.

MORE: Discover seven benefits of vitamin D

Alzheimer’s News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.