Although there is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s, there are medications that have been shown to slow down the progression of this disease that affects the nerve cells within the brain. Many of these can increase the quality of life as well as longevity. In addition, constant research is being implemented in a search for the cure. One option for your loved one is to participate in one of the many clinical trials currently under investigation. There are also several lifestyle changes they can make that have proven beneficial in slowing down the progression or providing an increase in the quality of life.
There are several FDA-approved drugs currently being prescribed to those suffering from Alzheimer’s. The first group falls under the category of cholinesterase inhibitors. These are designed to treat the cognitive symptoms of memory loss, confusion and problems with thinking and reasoning. This medication is used in the early to moderate stages.
The second category of FDA-approved medications is memantine drugs. These are used to improve mental function and help those affected perform the everyday tasks of living. They may also improve memory and attention as well as the ability to communicate. This medication is used in the moderate to late stages of the disease.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, there are currently 50,000 volunteer positions for those with and without Alzheimer’s that need to be filled. These participants enroll in one of the more than 130 clinical trials soon to be underway. The Alzheimer’s Association offers Trialmatch which connects those suffering from this disease to one of these clinical studies.
There are several lifestyle changes that may slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s. These include eating a healthy diet that is antioxidant-rich—nutrients found in fruits and vegetables. The Mediterranean diet has proven beneficial in reducing heart disease, cancer rates and stroke and is now considered a possible contender for slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s. This diet, in addition to fruits and vegetables, consists of trading in fats such as butter for olive oil, increasing one’s garlic intake, and shifting protein sources from red meat to fish, chicken, beans and nuts.
Exercise is also considered an important contributor to increasing one’s quality of life despite this diagnosis. Help your loved one schedule at least 30 minutes of exercise 5 days a week. Activities to include may be brisk walking, bicycling, swimming, tai chi and yoga.
Home Care Provider
Know that, as a caregiver of someone with Alzheimer’s, you are not alone. There are an estimated 5.4
million Americans with this disease and 5.2 million are 65 years of age or older. Don’t forget to get support for yourself as you provide support for your parent. Consider joining a support group for the caregivers of those with Alzheimer’s, and obtain the services of a home care provider who can care for your parent a few days a week. It’s important to give yourself the time to do the things you love, recharge and rejuvenate.
IF YOU OR AN AGING LOVED ONE ARE CONSIDERING HOMECARE IN INDIAN TRAIL, NC, PLEASE CONTACT THE CARING STAFF AT GOLDEN HEART SENIOR CARE OF CHARLOTTE. (704) 246-5806.