Did you know that 5.7 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s? This startling number can make anyone anxious. If you have an older loved one who has expressed early signs of the disease or if your own parent has Alzheimer’s, it can be even more intimidating. That is precisely why The Pavilion is increasing education efforts for dementia-related illnesses. Fortunately, there are options for Alzheimer’s care and even steps for prevention!
If your parent has been diagnosed, there are various care options for Alzheimer’s patients. You can keep your loved one with you, or a family member with the use of in-home healthcare. The most common types of service for Alzheimer’s care are:
- Companion Services – help with recreation activities and supervision
- Homemaker Services – assistance with housekeeping, meal prep and shopping
- Skilled Care – help with medical needs, physical therapy, etc.
- Personal Care – assistance with bathing, dressing, eating and other personal care
You can also have your loved one receive these services at a skilled nursing community. The best way to determine what type of care is best for your loved one is to consult with a doctor. You can also do research online or talk with a specialist.
There are also other options to have your loved one live at home and still receive supervision. For instance, respite care offers adult supervision for short-term periods. This program helps with unforeseen circumstances, such as last-minute trips or illness recovery.
It is a difficult challenge balancing work, a social life, and being a caregiver. Often times family members overextend themselves and experience caregiver burnout. The best options for Alzheimer Care is often a memory care community. This type of care offers 24-7 nursing, supervision, and assistance. With specialized programming for those who have memory impairments, you can feel safe knowing the best medical treatment is being applied. If your parent has not gotten to this level of need, the good news is that there are methods of prevention!
There is no known cure for memory-impairing diseases as of yet. Fortunately, with proper prevention techniques, you can greatly reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s! These tips should be mandatory for your older loved ones and also something you should take in consideration as well. According to Helpguide.org, there are “6 Pillars of Alzheimer’s Prevention.”
Pillar 1 – Regular Exercise
With regular exercise, you can reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer’s by 50%! Physical activity strengthens your body and your brain. We suggest 150 minutes of exercise per week, that’s only 30 minutes 5 days a week or 50 minutes for 3 days. It is important to include cardio and strength training into your routine.
Pillar 2 – Social Engagement
Social engagement is healthy for various brain-related illnesses, even depression. Having your loved ones interacting with like-minded individuals is essential. This is a massive benefit of senior living communities. Other ways of socializing can be joining a club, a class, volunteer, dinner dates or even social media!
Pillar 3 – Healthy Diet
It is important to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables for a healthy brain. It is also suggested to eat omega-3 fats found in salmon, tuna, seaweed, etc. Be sure to also cut down on sugar and drink more green tea. Studies have shown that there are benefits to sticking to a Mediterranean Diet.
Pillar 4 – Mental Engagement
This pillar is crucial for prevention, but it is also beneficial for Alzheimer’s care. Ensure your loved ones have opportunities to learn something new or practice memorization techniques. Brain games, puzzles, and riddles are also fun ways to exercise your brain!
Pillar 5 – Sleep
It is very beneficial for your brain and body to get plenty of sleep every night. Aim for 8 hours of sleep nightly.
Pillar 6 – Stress Reduction
Persistent or chronic stress can be very unhealthy and sometimes fatal. If you do find yourself continually becoming stressed, try breathing or relaxation techniques. Praying or meditating is also very beneficial for keeping stress levels to a minimum. Other ways to handle stress are taking part in a fun activity or laugh at a comedy.
Alzheimer’s care can be challenging to administer for any one person. Be sure to use the tools at your disposal or look into memory care communities. If you are worried about your parents being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, be sure to start enforcing the 6 Pillars of Prevention. And remember … it is never too early to be proactive!
If you would like to speak with a specialist, be sure to contact an expert today!