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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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How can dementia be treated?

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Dr. Shafi Ullah Khan

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2012

Answered : 3614 Questions

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Posted on Mon, 23 Apr 2018 in Brain and Spine
Question: How do I help my wife of 40 + years who has developed dementia in the last two, getting worse all the time: memory, mood etc. I try to do everything I can for her but she does not cooperate a good share of the time. She sits in a recliner all day long and seldom gets any exercise and is very weak. How can I get her interested and motivated in the right things. so far she just will not make the effort. NOTE: she also has type II diabetes and takes insulin but she sometimes forgets to take it although I am continually remind her, with her taking her pills. Also note that she is 76 and I am 79. Thank You.
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Answered by Dr. Shafi Ullah Khan 4 hours later
Brief Answer:
Supportive care for dementia

Detailed Answer:
Thank you for asking

I read your question and i understand your concern. Dementia can be troublesome and difficult to manage. Prevagen is claiming to improve the memory but its not yet approved by FDA and is being sold as just a dietary supplement so dont rely on it much. Rest at the age of 76 dementia needs supportive care. Medications like donapezil, memantin , rivastigmine and meds for sleep should help. Vitamin E, gingko biloba and omega 3 fatty acids pills can help.
Apart from it, cognitive behavioural therapy helps alot. An occupational therapist can show you how to make your home safer and teach coping behaviors. The purpose is to prevent accidents, such as falls; manage behavior; and prepare you for the dementia progression. Also environment needs to be modified . Reducing clutter and noise can make it easier for someone with dementia to focus and function. You might need to hide objects that can threaten safety, such as knives and car keys. Monitoring systems can alert you if the person with dementia wanders.Make daily tasks simple and understandable . Break tasks into easier steps and focus on success, not failure. Structure and routine also help reduce confusion in people with dementia. While communicating, maintain eye contact. Speak slowly in simple sentences, and don't rush the response. Present one idea or instruction at a time. Use gestures and cues, such as pointing to objects. You need to make your partner exercise more, The main benefits of exercise include improved strength and cardiovascular health. There is growing evidence that exercise also protects the brain from dementia, especially when combined with a healthy diet and treatment for risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Some research also shows physical activity might slow the progression of impaired thinking in people with Alzheimer's disease. And it can lessen symptoms of depression. Plan activities that your partner enjoys like Dancing, painting, gardening, cooking, singing and others can be fun, can help you connect .Behavior is often worse at night. Try to establish going-to-bed rituals that are calming and away from the noise of television, meal cleanup and active family members. Leave nightlights on in the bedroom, hall and bathroom to prevent disorientation.Limiting caffeine, discouraging napping and offering opportunities for exercise during the day might ease nighttime restlessness.Keep a calendar for her for upcoming events, daily activities and medication schedules.

I hope it helps. Take good care of her and of yourself and dont forget to close the discussion please.

Regards
Khan
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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