What Are the Best Ways to Treat Dementia?

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A diagnosis of dementia presents challenges for both seniors and their caregivers. Even if your aging loved one has memory impairment or cognitive decline, he or she can still find enjoyment in everyday activities. Here are some great treatment options for people with dementia that may boost cognitive functioning, reduce the incidence of negative behaviors, and enhance mood.

Cholinesterase Inhibitors 

Cholinesterase inhibitors increase levels of cell-to-cell communication and reduce behavioral symptoms such as depression, agitation, and combativeness. While effective at treating dementia, cholinesterase inhibitors can cause side effects, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, poor appetite, and insomnia. They may also cause cardiac arrhythmia, especially in those with certain types of cardiovascular disease. While cholinesterase inhibitors are generally well tolerated, they may interact with other prescription medications, such as certain antibiotics and antiarrhythmic medications used to treat abnormal heart rhythms. Make sure to provide the physician with a complete list of both over-the-counter and prescription medications your loved one is currently taking.

Cognitive Rehab

Cognitive rehabilitation treatment helps seniors with dementia manage memory loss and cognitive decline. Healthcare professionals who participate in cognitive rehabilitation therapy include language pathologists, physicians, nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, and mental health counselors. These professionals are usually licensed by their states and typically have extensive experience working with seniors who have dementia. Cognitive rehab treatment is available in a number of settings, including hospitals, brain injury treatment centers, and outpatient facilities. 

Dementia can be challenging for seniors to manage, but they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional dementia care. Woodbridge seniors can benefit greatly from the Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), an activities-based program designed to promote cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia. CTM is included at no additional charge with any of the in-home care plans provided by Home Care Assistance.

Psychotropic Medications

Your loved one’s physician may prescribe psychotropic medications such as antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, and hypnotics to promote sleep. Depending on the stage of dementia your loved one is in, he or she may cry frequently, pace, become physically combative, experience confusion at night, or refuse to participate in the activities of daily living. Negative behaviors diminish quality of life and can contribute to chronic health conditions, such as high blood pressure, heart palpitations, muscle pain, headaches, gastrointestinal problems, and loss of appetite. If psychotropic drugs are prescribed, monitor your loved one for side effects such as dry mouth, blurred vision, nausea, and weight changes. 

There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional elder care. You can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep your loved one safe and comfortable while aging in place.

Peaceful Environment

Seniors with dementia sometimes become startled by loud noises and overstimulating environments. Maintain a peaceful environment by avoiding harsh lighting, keeping the television volume low, and asking visitors to speak in low tones. To further enhance the environment, play your loved one’s favorite music and light scented candles. Certain fragrances, such as lavender, can calm jangled nerves and promote feelings of wellbeing in people with dementia. 

Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Woodbridge Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care. Call us today at (203) 444-8575 to discuss how we can give you the peace of mind that comes from knowing your loved one is being cared for with professionalism and compassion.