Grand Brook Memory Care

What is the Meaning of Memory Care

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Dementia affects a staggering number of older people in the United States. In fact, researchers at the Columbia University Irving Medical Center have found that nearly 10% of U.S. adults age 65 and older have dementia. The percentages climb frighteningly higher as people age. The same study concluded that 35% of people in their 90s have dementia.

Although dementia has no cure, there are ways to treat the symptoms and help patients have a better quality of life. Advances in technology and medicine have led to more effective strategies for combating this illness.

Communication Aids

The use of communication aids can help dementia patients recall events and the feelings they felt while experiencing them. Keeping in contact with loved ones can facilitate this, even when patients may not remember the names and faces of their family members. Using adapted phones with programmed numbers and large, easy-to-use buttons allows dementia patients to keep in touch with family. Showing those with dementia how to use video chat services can also be helpful.

A study featured in the National Library of Medicine noted that there are benefits for both dementia patients and their caregivers when communication aids are available. Researchers found that:

“Mobile applications as tools for facilitating communication in people with dementia are promising. Mobile applications are not only feasible socially, logistically, and financially but also produce meaningful communication improvements in people with dementia and their caregivers.”

Medication

As with other diseases, syndromes, and sicknesses, prescription medication can play a key role in easing the burdens that dementia lays on patients and caregivers. Recently, the FDA approved the new drug lecanemab (Leqembi™)  as treatment. Leqembi, which was initially approved as a treatment for early Alzheimer’s, might also be an effective treatment for dementia.

Billy Dunn, director of the Office of Neuroscience in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, stated: “This treatment option is the latest therapy to target and affect the underlying disease process of Alzheimer’s, instead of only treating the symptoms of the disease.”

Robotic Assistance 

With today’s technological advances, robotics has started to play a part in caring for a person with dementia. Dementia can cause memory loss, comprehension lapses, judgment impairment, diminished learning capacity, and communication difficulties. When these effects are present, the person can become frustrated, confused, and upset. Assisting with routine tasks can help to alleviate some of these consequences. Robots can assist with household chores and duties as well as give reminders to take medication. Robots are not designed to replace human caregivers, though. Rather, the robots assist and support the caregivers.

Anyone who has a family member struggling with dementia knows how difficult it can be to cope. With no cure available to reverse the effects of dementia, loved ones and caregivers turn to new treatments and technology to help people with dementia improve their quality of life.

Keep Physically Active
The first thing to address is your physical activity. Maintaining physical activity has health benefits beyond potentially preventing dementia including lowering your weight, and reducing risks for heart disease and stroke. HHS recommends, “Aim to get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each week.” By engaging in reasonable physical activity each week, this may reduce the risk of dementia.
Watch Your Heart
The second thing to address is your heart health. According to HHS, “treating high blood pressure with medication and healthy lifestyle changes, such as exercising and quitting smoking, may help reduce the risk of dementia.” If you want to lessen the risk of dementia in your own life, manage your blood pressure and aim for a healthy heart. In addition, a healthy heart has benefits that extend beyond potential dementia prevention.
Challenge Your Mind
The third thing to address is your mental health. Staying mentally active, may improve your chances of avoiding dementia. HHS wrote, “Lots of activities can help keep your mind active, including reading, playing board games, crafting or taking up a new hobby, learning a new skill, working or volunteering, and socializing.” So challenge yourself to stay mentally active. Do the hard things that stimulate your brain cells. Keep your mind engaged with productive activities. Learn something new every day.
There may be other contributing factors in a future diagnosis of dementia. These include…
Making lifestyle changes is all part of making healthy life choices as you age. Though you may not be able to completely eliminate the chance you or a loved one will develop dementia, these lifestyle changes should improve your overall health and lifespan.
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