Whether you provide home health care to a senior or are just concerned about an aging loved one, it's important to take proactive steps to slow the progress of dementia. This condition has serious implications for memory, cognition, concentration, and one’s ability to drive safely. Below are a few tips for slowing the progression.
How to Slow Dementia
1. Keep the Mind Active
Mental activity is just as crucial as physical activity. Research suggests that computer games targeting concentration skills and thinking speed can slow dementia. In general, keep their mind as engaged as possible, as this will help strengthen neural pathways in the brain. Keep them well-stocked in crossword puzzles, word searches, and similar stimulating activities.
Physical exercise has been shown to improve cognition in those with dementia and to decrease middle-aged people's risks of developing dementia. The exercises don’t need to be particularly intense, but they should be enough to get the heart rate up. If you're providing home health care to a loved one with dementia, take them on a brisk walk or accompany them on a leisurely swim. They should aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise a day, five days a week.
Cognitive improvements have been detected in memory-impaired patients who take part in certain mind-body therapies. Yogic meditation—the act of breathing deeply and focusing on the in and out of the breath—for just 12 minutes a day can have positive memory effects. Sitting quietly and listening to relaxing music can make a similar impact, as well. Encourage the senior in your life to implement practices like these into their daily schedule.
If someone you love is dealing with dementia and needs quality home health care, trust the professionals at Lifetime Care. Since 1960, they have been serving patients throughout Western New York, including Monroe, Wayne, Livingston, Ontario, Yates, Seneca, Cayuga, and Schuyler counties. In addition to home health care, they provide hospice support and both standard and infusion pharmacy services. Call (585) 214-1000 or visit them online to schedule a caregiver.