Effective Methods for Treating Dementia

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Depending on the stage of dementia your senior loved one is in, he or she may require minimal care or around-the-clock monitoring. Even though caring for a loved one with dementia poses challenges, it can also be very rewarding. Here are some ideal ways to treat dementia in seniors so they can better manage their physical and psychosocial challenges.

Memantine Therapy

Memantine is a prescription medication prescribed for Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia. It’s thought to enhance memory, language and reasoning skills, and attention span. It works by regulating glutamate, a chemical found in the brain that affects learning skills and memory. Memantine may also prevent hallucinations, aggression, delusions, and agitation in people with dementia. It may also make caring for your loved one less challenging because it can prevent episodes of disorientation and make it easier to perform the activities of daily living. Your loved one’s physician will talk to you about side effects associated with memantine, such as headaches, dizziness, and high blood pressure.

Calming Strategies

Seniors with dementia may experience aggression. Agitation, aggression, and combativeness can be triggered by illness, fear, new situations, and environmental changes. Employ calming strategies to help your loved one feel secure and comfortable. These strategies may include playing soft music, using aromatherapy, holding your loved one’s hand, talking in soothing tones, and offering reassurance. 

Dementia can be challenging for seniors to manage, but they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional dementia care. Oshkosh seniors can benefit greatly from the Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), an activities-based program designed to promote cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia. CTM is included at no additional charge with any of the in-home care plans provided by Home Care Assistance.

Activities that Increase Feel-Good Hormones

Endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine are brain chemicals that have a positive impact on behavior and mood. They can diminish the perception of pain, boost mood, enhance sleep quality, aid digestion, and enhance memory and cognitive function. Encourage your loved one to spend time outdoors during sunny days to boost the levels of these brain chemicals. Exercise is another way to boost levels of endorphins and serotonin. Increased activity can also prevent depression and aggressive behavior in those with dementia. Before starting a new activity routine, check with the physician to make sure your loved one is healthy enough to engage in more exercise.

There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional homecare. You can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep your loved one safe and comfortable while aging in place.

Animal-Assisted Therapy

Animal-assisted therapy, or AAT, can treat dementia in seniors who have psychological or behavioral symptoms. AAT is thought to boost both physical and mental health in people with dementia because it promotes relaxation, enhances recall, reduces feelings of loneliness, and stimulates brain function. It’s also thought that AAT may prevent sundown syndrome, which can cause restlessness, aggression, disorientation, and agitation when it gets dark outside. Animal-assisted therapy is usually offered by healthcare providers such as occupational therapists and registered nurses, and it can be performed in a group setting or with only one person. To find out more about the benefits of animal-assisted therapy, talk to your loved one’s physician, who can also direct you to a qualified therapist.

Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Oshkosh Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care. Reach out to one of our Care Managers today at (920) 216-6276 to learn more about our high-quality home care services.

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