General Mental Health
It is important to choose activities that the demented person
can manage. All human beings, including people with dementia,
have a fundamental psychological need to be occupied. However,
the nerve pathways in the brain which carry motivation may be
damaged in a person with dementia.
You may therefore, have, to
help them get started. Many people with dementia also have
problems concentrating. They may be unable to concentrate on
anything, such as a TV program or reading the paper, for very
long. This means that activities have to be adapted to meet
their very special needs.
to a Confused Person
An effective way to administer medications to a person with
dementia (confusion) is to crush the tablets (if it's a
medication that can be crushed safely) and mix the powdered
medication in a small amount of applesauce or pudding.
Bathing a Person with
Try to make sure that all bathing materials (soap, shampoo,
washcloth, towels) are within easy reach, so that you will not
need to leave the patient unattended even momentarily. Safety
issues also become more important. To lessen the chance of the
patient slipping or falling, try placing a rubber mat or
decals on the floor of the bath tub. Grab bars and shower
seats may also be helpful. They can be purchased at most any
medical supply store. You may want to lower the temperature of
the hot water in your heater to reduce the chance of scalding.
High-Fat Diet May Raise
A high-fat, high-calorie diet may double a person's risk for
Alzheimer's disease, especially if the person is genetically
predisposed to the disorder.
Importance of Consistent
Care of Person with Dementia
It's important that care to a demented person be provided on a
consistent basis. Changes in routine have a negative effect by
increasing confusion and agitation.
Music and Alzheimer's
Doctors say the right kind of music, golden oldies, can help
Alzheimer's patients interact with others better.
Noise and Dementia
Speak gently and distinctly to a confused person. Loud voices
only add to the person's confusion and may make the person
Preparing a Person with
Alzheimer's for Visitors
Talk about and show pictures of the people who are coming to
Have the person with AD watch and/or help with preparations.
Persons with AD may recognize faces of family members and
friends but may be unable to recall names. Name tags are
Have a "quiet" room if things get too hectic and have someone
familiar stay with the demented person so he or she doesn't
feel isolated or left out.
Prepare for distractions beforehand (e.g., use of photo album)
to divert attention if problem behaviors occur.
Radio, TV and Alzheimer's
A radio and television left playing in the room with a person
who has Alzheimer's can help calm and reorient them.
Some Foods May Cut
Eating nuts, leafy green vegetables and other foods rich in
antioxidants such as vitamin E may reduce the risk of
Trial Alzheimer's Vaccine
A safe, effective vaccine for people with Alzheimer's may be
on the horizon.
Researchers are working on a vaccine that stimulates the
immune system to produce antibodies against the beta-amyloid
protein found in the brain-clogging plaques involved in the