General Mental Health
Activities and Dementia
It is important to choose activities that the demented person can manage. All human beings, including people with dementia, have a fundamental psychological need to be occupied. However, the nerve pathways in the brain which carry motivation may be damaged in a person with dementia.
You may therefore, have, to help them get started. Many people with dementia also have problems concentrating. They may be unable to concentrate on anything, such as a TV program or reading the paper, for very long. This means that activities have to be adapted to meet their very special needs.
Administering Medications to a Confused Person
An effective way to administer medications to a person with dementia (confusion) is to crush the tablets (if it’s a medication that can be crushed safely) and mix the powdered medication in a small amount of applesauce or pudding.
Bathing a Person with Alzheimer’s Disease
Try to make sure that all bathing materials (soap, shampoo, washcloth, towels) are within easy reach, so that you will not need to leave the patient unattended even momentarily. Safety issues also become more important. To lessen the chance of the patient slipping or falling, try placing a rubber mat or decals on the floor of the bath tub. Grab bars and shower seats may also be helpful. They can be purchased at most any medical supply store. You may want to lower the temperature of the hot water in your heater to reduce the chance of scalding.
High-Fat Diet May Raise Alzheimer’s Risk
A high-fat, high-calorie diet may double a person’s risk for Alzheimer’s disease, especially if the person is genetically predisposed to the disorder.
Importance of Consistent Care of Person with Dementia
It’s important that care to a demented person be provided on a consistent basis. Changes in routine have a negative effect by increasing confusion and agitation.
Music and Alzheimer’s
Doctors say the right kind of music, golden oldies, can help Alzheimer’s patients interact with others better.
Noise and Dementia
Speak gently and distinctly to a confused person. Loud voices only add to the person’s confusion and may make the person agitated.
Preparing a Person with Alzheimer’s for Visitors
Talk about and show pictures of the people who are coming to visit.
Have the person with AD watch and/or help with preparations.
Persons with AD may recognize faces of family members and friends but may be unable to recall names. Name tags are helpful.
Have a “quiet” room if things get too hectic and have someone familiar stay with the demented person so he or she doesn’t feel isolated or left out.
Prepare for distractions beforehand (e.g., use of photo album) to divert attention if problem behaviors occur.
Radio, TV and Alzheimer’s
A radio and television left playing in the room with a person who has Alzheimer’s can help calm and reorient them.
Some Foods May Cut Alzheimer’s Risk
Eating nuts, leafy green vegetables and other foods rich in antioxidants such as vitamin E may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s.
Trial Alzheimer’s Vaccine
A safe, effective vaccine for people with Alzheimer’s may be on the horizon.
Researchers are working on a vaccine that stimulates the immune system to produce antibodies against the beta-amyloid protein found in the brain-clogging plaques involved in the disease.