Early Dementia: What To Do When A Parent Is Afflicted?

Early Dementia: What To Do When A Parent Is Afflicted?

Dementia is a term that can refer to Alzheimer’s or a number of other cognitive diseases and conditions. Dementia can mean that a person has trouble remembering or processing information. This is a condition that affects many adults as they age.

During the early stages of dementia, a person may notice mild symptoms such as forgetfulness or short bouts of confusion. This stage of the disease may last for years, but it can be disruptive and frustrating to the individual. If a parent starts experiencing signs of early stage dementia, here are some things you can do:

  1. Encourage physical activity. Studies show that staying active can help patients live better with the disease. Help your parent find things that are fun to do, so Mom or Dad is more likely to stick with it.

  2. Eat healthy. Meals low in fat with lots of vegetables can help patients with dementia symptoms, and make them feel better for physical activity.

  3. Establish routines. Confusion and memory issues typically come from new or stressful situations. Daily routines can help alleviate this by allowing the patient to rely on actions he or she is already used to. Writing down routines and putting them in multiple places throughout a home can also be useful as reminders.

  4. Identify stressful situations and work-arounds.  By knowing what types of situations trigger memory issues or confusion, there may be ways to avoid them or work around them. If grocery shopping proves to be stressful, taking advantage of a store’s new order and pickup service may avoid the problem.

  5. Get good sleep. Another element of good health. Routine bedtimes and wakeup times can be part of a reinforcing routine.
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