Courtesy of Kristene Blackham
Alzheimer’s disease causes cognitive problems, memory loss and personality changes that aren’t reversible. Fortunately, there are many ways to slow the progression of the disease once it has begun to develop. Below are three major ways to help prevent Alzheimer’s disease from getting worse.
Recent research has demonstrated the value of mental stimulation for slowing the development of Alzheimer’s disease, especially when it has just started to produce symptoms. As part of your care plan for a person with Alzheimer’s disease, provide plenty of cognitive stimulation in the form of social interaction, writing, reading, puzzles and even video games. Novel situations of all kinds are excellent sources of brain stimulation.
Don’t let an Alzheimer’s patient sit passively while you take care of everything. Instead, encourage him or her to get up and work with you on cooking, cleaning and other household tasks. Be sure to avoid activies that are tedious, however, as they won’t provide any benefit. Also, keep things relaxed so that the patient can avoid excessive stress, which worsens the disease.
Vitamins and Supplements
Researchers have found that several nutrients and natural supplements benefit patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Foods high in antioxidants, such as vitamin E, are protectors of brain cells. B vitamins, such as folic acid, are also valuable for slowing cognitive deterioration. Astaxanthin is one especially powerful antioxidant being researched for Alzheimer’s disease treatment. A fat-soluble antioxidant, astaxanthin benefits Alzheimer’s patients through its ability to prevent buildup of a harmful compound known as PLOOH, which is associated with Alzheimers and other neurodegenerative diseases. Finally, the herb ginkgo biloba also slows the development of dementia and improves memory.
Stress Reduction Through Routine
Chronic stress is linked to Alzheimer’s disease progression. Simple changes in the environment, such as elimination of complex chores and unnecessary bills, can dramatically reduce the pressure felt by patients in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. You can also take care of the person’s mail, help organize his or her living space and set up a system that simplifies tracking of daily plans. However, be sure to make these changes slowly because going too fast could worsen the progression of symptoms by causing major stress.
Alzheimer’s is presently incurable, but taking the right steps can slow the rate of decline suffered by patients. While the tips above might not replace Alzheimer’s drugs, they can make a positive impact on patients for long-lasting results that matter.