How to Help Older Relatives Deal With Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer's is a scary disease to try to come to terms with. In many cases it may be impossible to truly do so, as it steals away the cognitive abilities to cope with such an illness. If you have an older relative who is suffering from Alzheimer's, there are some things you can do to help them deal with it a little better.

Preventive Care

As it stands now, there is no way to prevent people from developing Alzheimer's disease. That said, there are some things that can be done to lower the risk of developing it. These are fairly normal, healthy habits, such as getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, and making use of cognitive abilities. A study done in 2009 suggested that the Mediterranean diet helped protect cognitive abilities, linking a healthy, balanced diet to better brain function. Enable older relatives to pursue these healthy lifestyle habits and encourage them to continue practicing them as much as possible.

Holistic Care Solutions

Like preventative care, there is no cure for Alzheimer's disease. Currently, the progression of the disease can only be slowed, not stopped. Traditional Alzheimer’s and dementia treatment often relies on pharmaceutical care. Supplements such as Omega-3 fatty acids, curcumin, ginkgo biloba, and vitamin E may be beneficial, but there isn't much research to suggest they have a significant impact. Supplements can have an adverse impact on other medications, so be sure to talk to a doctor before they are added to a regimen. Other holistic care options such as creative art therapies, breathing exercises, yoga, or aromatherapy won't cure Alzheimer's, but may help improve quality of life.

Be Patient

Ultimately, it's important for those who have older relatives suffering from Alzheimer's to be patient with them. Alzheimer's is a difficult disease for everyone to deal with. It's hard to watch your loved one turn into someone who doesn't know you, but it's also scary for them. They often get lost more easily. As the disease progresses they may find themselves unfamiliar with their surroundings and unable to recognize those around them. Be as patient and understanding as possible, while still maintaining your health as a caregiver.

There is a lot we don't know about Alzheimer's disease, which can make it incredibly difficult to deal with. Look into ways to reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer's, discuss holistic care solutions, and be patient with those suffering from it. While there is no cure for Alzheimer's, this can help make it a little easier to deal with.

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