The most common type of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease, which accounts for an estimated 60-80% of cases. Find out what the research says about diagnosing dementia as well as treatment options for older adults living with cognitive impairment.
3 simple ways to manage challenging behaviours associated with dementia
Gingko supplements (240 mg per day) may help reduce symptoms of Alzheimer's disease and enable you to perform daily tasks better. Be aware that gingko could interact with other medications, so talk to your doctor before taking any supplements.
Dementia affects millions of people around the world, and there is no current treatment. There are a few ways to lower your risk. Eat a well-balanced diet, exercise, stay social, and limit alcohol and smoking.
Older adults with dementia may need to move into long-term care homes if they can no longer stay at home. These people have higher risk of getting physically restrained or given antipsychotic medication. Changes to policy and education have made these things happen less often.
Research has shown that taking statins later in life will not prevent Alzheimer’s or dementia. Statins are used to manage cholesterol. Cholesterol management may lower your risk for getting Alzheimer’s disease as you get older.
Some types of dementia can be treated (eg. if caused by a brain tumour, medication interactions or infections). For most people, dementia cannot be reversed. This resource includes answers to frequently asked questions about dementia.
Forgetfulness is a normal part of aging. Learn the warning signs of dementia (in this resource) to report to a doctor. Contact a doctor right away if a person becomes suddenly confused, upset, or lost.
Delirium is the result of brain changes that lead to confusion, lack of focus and memory problems. There is no specific treatment for delirium - it is best to avoid risks, treat underlying illnesses and receive supportive care. Sedatives and physical restraints should be avoided.
Dementia causes loss of mental ability, mood changes, and trouble with daily activities. Risk factors for heart disease could increase your risk of dementia like smoking, high cholesterol, drinking alcohol, or being overweight.
There are no proven ways to prevent Alzheimer’s, but living a healthy lifestyle might help. Factors like eating healthy, exercising, and keeping your brain active. It may also help to avoid smoking, control blood pressure, and take care of your mental health.
Mild cognitive impairment is when you have problems with mental function or memory, but not dementia. Treating conditions that cause MCI, like high blood pressure or sleep apnea, could help. Exercise, diet, and social engagement could help too.
Older adults with dementia have a higher risk of falls compared to other older adults. People with dementia are more likely to fall because of problems with mobility, balance and strength. Safety programs are available to help lower the amount of falls in older adults.
Studies suggest medications containing memantine can help to slow the loss of activities of daily life and mental ability (memory, learning). More research is needed to know whether memantine works better or worse than other Alzheimer's treatments.
Help preserve memories for someone with Alzheimer’s. Create an electronic folder or special box with photos and letters. Talk together or with people who know her/him to hear and document meaningful stories.
Certain medications may help improve symptoms that impact thinking and memory in some people with dementia. Other drug treatments can help with related symptoms, such as depression, sleeping problems and agitation. Details about these medications in this resource.
Dementia is a general term used to describe symptoms such as memory loss or communication problems that affect your daily life. Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia. Symptoms include difficulty with problem solving, confusion, misplacing things and mood changes. Details about dementia in this resource, including prevention and coping.
There is some evidence that increasing vitamin B12 and folate levels (found in citrus fruits, tomatoes, vegetables and whole grains), quitting smoking, exercising and keeping your brain active can help reduce your risk of dementia.
Cholinesterase inhibitors are medications that may help to slow the loss of mental abilities for people with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease. Side effects include nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, dizziness or diarrhea. It is unclear if these medications work better or worse than other Alzheimer's treatments.
The IQCODE questionnaire can be used to find out whether you have a memory disorder. The test can lead to false dementia diagnosis for healthy patients. A single tool is likely not the best approach for diagnosing dementia.
People with dementia often have changes in their sleep patterns or problems sleeping. Avoid taking sleeping pills or sedatives as a way to manage your sleep problems. Set a stable routine, exercise and spend more time in outdoor light to improve sleep.
Stay mentally, physically and socially active to help prevent memory loss. Eat a healthy diet, get organized, limit clutter, get enough sleep and manage any chronic conditions and medications. See your doctor if memory loss is affecting your daily activities.
People with Alzheimer's disease gradually lose their memory and ability to concentrate. Risk factors include diabetes, depression, high cholesterol, smoking, and social isolation. Mental and physical activity, supportive social networks, and a balanced diet help to prevent Alzheimer's disease. Talk to your doctor if you or someone you love is experiencing forgetfulness, changes in behaviour, or problems with orientation.
No dietary supplements - including plant extracts and vitamins - have been proven to preserve memory. Read the details here. To maintain or boost your brain health, exercise your brain by learning something new, stay socially connected, and manage your weight and blood pressure.
Learn something new to improve brain function and lower your risk of dementia. Change your routine, register for a course, visit your local library, read, write, play an instrument or practice word or number puzzles.
This patient decision aid helps people with a relative with Alzheimer's disease or other dementia decide on whether to care for the relative at home or at a long-term care home by comparing the benefits, risks and side effects of both options.
This patient decision aid helps those with Alzheimer's disease for whom symptoms interfere with daily living decide on whether or not to take medicine by comparing the benefits, risks, and side effects of both options.
Sundowning happens in those with Alzheimer's disease and dementia. In the late afternoon or evening, confusion and agitation can get worse. To reduce sundowning, make sure you stick to a schedule and daily routines. Keep your house brightly lit in the evening, stay active, and create a calm environment. Try to avoid large meals and alcohol at night and write down triggers that cause agitation. Ask your doctor about respite and support groups for caregivers.
If you are caring for loved one with Alzheimer's disease, remember to take care of yourself first. Try these tips to manage your stress, but seek out professional help if your stress becomes unbearable.
There are many claims out there about the health benefits of dietary supplements, but not all claims are backed by evidence. Talk to your health care provider about which supplements may be beneficial to you.
Many of people with dementia live in residential and long-term care facilities, but others are living at home with support from their caregivers. Despite the burden and distress of these caregivers, many do not use existing respite services.
Support for family caregivers of people with dementia cannot be overlooked – it is a necessity. If the stress of caregiving is left unchecked, it can take a toll on a caregiver’s mental, physical and social health. Multicomponent strategies may be a good way to keep a caregiver grounded and healthy.
One of the pleasures in life is spending time with family and friends. Another is getting together to relive those good times and memorable moments. Research shows that group activities involving reminiscing can help relieve loneliness and depression.
Providing care for family members with challenging chronic diseases like dementia can be highly stressful and take a toll on caregivers’ physical and psychological health. When caregivers become “burnt out” are their loved ones more likely to be placed in long term care facilities?
Although there is no cure for Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia, finding out the best ways to diagnose the condition early may help people to access the best available treatments and support and maintain control and independence for as long as possible.
Caring for a loved one with dementia is challenging and can take a physical and emotional toll. Internet and combined internet and telephone-based programs may provide a cost-effective, easy-to-access option for caregivers seeking information and support.
Many are concerned about how much sleep is 'normal' and how much we need for successful aging. Although there is no simple answer, the scientific evidence shows that sleep duration has important links to health.
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