Did you know that carefully managing dementia may help slow its progress? There is not yet a cure for dementia, but start focusing on what you and your loved one can control.

Prevent further damage to brain cells by leading a healthy lifestyle and embracing routines. Here are 3 ways you and your loved one can start managing dementia now:

1. Follow a Simple Exercise Routine

Exercising improves metabolism and strengthens muscles. (And did you know that taking great care of your body can also improve your mental health?)

Getting exercise can be as simple as:

  • walking
  • stretching
  • dancing
  • lifting small weights

Many resistance exercises can often be done in the privacy and convenience of home using everyday items like chairs or stairs. They include:

  • leg lifts
  • chair squats
  • push-ups
  • planks
  • squats

Resistance exercises are crucial since they:

  • reduce inflammation
  • improve balance
  • increase bone density
  • protect brain cells (by fighting damaging amyloid plaque)

Tips: Be careful about what you put in your body. Don’t smoke or drink alcohol in excess. Avoid processed foods that could cause more amyloid plaque to form in the brain.

2. Get Quality Sleep

According to WebMD, areas of the brain change without adequate sleep. Consistent, quality sleep is key for functioning well both physically and mentally.

If the body and mind are routinely well rested, your loved one may feel more relaxed. Their behaviors (like sundowning) can stay better in check, making daily life run more smoothly.

Get better sleep by:

  • Avoiding napping away most of the day.
  • Filling your social calendar with activities, social events, and hobbies that keep your mind and body active.
  • Keeping the bedroom at a comfortable temperature.
  • Ensuring your bedroom’s lighting is peaceful and non-distracting.
  • Making sure the bedroom is quiet.

However, poor sleep or no sleep at all may be the result of medical condition(s). Speak to your doctor. They can help you rule out medical factors like:

  • sleep apnea
  • restless legs syndrome
  • hormonal imbalance
  • depression
  • anxiety and stress
  • arthritis

Sleep can also be affected by medication changes, a poor diet, and mental health disorders like bipolar disorder. Talk to your doctor to rule out any mental health or underlying medical issues that may be causing sleep disruptions.

A doctor may also consider whether melatonin is right for your loved one’s specific situation.

3. Routines are Key to Managing Dementia

Following routines will benefit your loved one managing dementia. Add copies of a daily schedule in convenient, well-traveled areas like on a bathroom mirror or fridge. Your loved one should be reminded about tasks and events like:

  • meal times
  • medical appointments
  • bill due dates
  • medication times
  • exercise times
  • social events
  • medical appointments
  • bedtimes

It’s especially important to take medications routinely. Help your loved one set timers for medications on their electronic devices and/or write them on a calendar.

Also, scheduling and attending routine medical checkups can help your loved one managing dementia. It’s important to keep all appointments, especially if they already have other underlying health conditions like diabetes and hypertension. These conditions could make their dementia progress more quickly.

Following a simplistic but steady exercise regimen, improving their quality of sleep, and keeping solid, daily routines may help your aging loved one with managing dementia. You’ll both feel more in control of their dementia diagnosis. This can reduce anxiety and vastly improve their overall physical and mental wellbeing.

Not all dementia patients need to undergo the stressful move to an assisted living facility. When you need a caregiver for your loved one to help with managing dementia in their Palos Verdes area home, contact us at A Peaceful Way Home Care.