Dementia is a truly debilitating illness and affects millions around the world annually. Not only does the patient suffer due to this life-altering ailment, but the family of the patient must also live with the knowledge that their loved one could change for the worse soon. After all, living with the knowledge of slow mental deterioration could not be easy for anyone, be it the affected person or their family.
However, one should keep the faith and rest assured with the knowledge that there are measures that you can put in place that will prolong the onset of some of the more severe symptoms of Dementia. By maintaining a healthy lifestyle, staying social, and keeping yourself engaged, you can maintain a certain quality of life and live better with dementia.
Dementia is not so much an illness as it is a syndrome, which is a group of related symptoms. Most of the symptoms associated with Dementia have an impact on the brain and its functioning, which usually translates to issues with cognition, expression and motor abilities. Some of these issues are memory loss, difficulty in comprehension, discrepancies in physical and verbal expression, mood, movement, judgment, language, and difficulty with routine activities.
While the main biological causes of dementia are unclear, genetics and environmental factors are the most commonly mentioned ones. There are also many different forms in which dementia may present itself, some of which are vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The most noticeable and perhaps most impactful feature of dementia is the effect it has on one’s personality and the behavioral changes that come with it. Patients become apathetic and lose interest in their surroundings and loved ones. Also, with so many issues with cognition, comprehension, and expression, patients to have issues in controlling their emotions and can be prone to outbursts of anger.
MAINTAIN A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE
Even though you’ve been diagnosed with a life-altering syndrome, you should still keep yourself healthy. Keep exercising regularly and keep a close watch on your diet. Eat foods that are good for the brain and contain nutrients that have an effect on cognition and overall brain activity. Make sure you’re sleeping properly and are getting true quality of sleep along with the proper duration of rest. Also, maintain your routine visits with your physician and dentist. Having a routine is very important for those who are living with dementia.
One of the biggest changes that come with dementia is not feeling like being social. While it might be difficult, you should fight this urge and try to be as social as possible. No one is asking you to go clubbing, but you can enjoy something a little low-pressure like a book club or some support group for those suffering from dementia. This social engagement is very necessary and will keep some of the more subtle symptoms of dementia from kicking in.
KEEP YOURSELF ENGAGED
There are many ways where you can keep your mind engaged. Buy puzzle books and solve them in your free time. Different puzzles like Sudoku and mazes help exercise the cognitive functioning of the brain and can go a long way in keeping some of the serious symptoms of dementia at bay. You can also download apps and games on your mobile phone that are specifically designed to help dementia patients in maintaining healthy brain activity. You can even buy dementia clocks (also known as memory clocks) which not only help you kep track of the time and date, but also keeps you engaged.