No one can stop or reverse the signs of early onset dementia. There are some things that can slow the process, however. These tactics work in the short term for some people.
For the best results, it’s important to adopt an overall healthy lifestyle. Sometimes, dietary changes can help to minimize the symptoms. For other people, listening to music or getting regular exercise makes a difference.
Engage the mind
Particularly in the earliest stages of dementia, stimulating mental activity has been shown to slow the decline of cognitive function.
Playing a musical instrument, singing, reading, playing board games, and writing are all pleasurable activities that help engage the mind. Learning a new skill is also a great way to create new pathways in the brain. It’s never too late to learn to read music or speak a new language.
While learning new things is important, it’s also crucial for the person to enjoy the process. Frustration does not help prevent cognitive decline.
Exercise the body
Researchers are very interested in the role exercise plays in the prevention of cognitive decline. A decade of various research projects show that regular physical activity not only helps to reduce the risk of dementia, it also helps to slow the onset of symptoms.
Even 30-40 minutes of walking three times each week can help the brain continue to grow. The brain’s prefrontal cortex and hippocampus respond to regular exercise. These are the same areas of the brain that researchers think undergo the most damage with dementia.
Moderate exercise is important for mood regulation and it helps keep body weight in check, possible helping to avoid other physical ailments. Vigorous exercise offers even more positive results, but be sure to check in with your primary caregiver before engaging in heavy physical activity.
Keep up with the latest research about dementia
Being aware of the most up-to-date information and research about dementia and Alzheimer’s helps people with the disease and their loved ones ask good questions and feel more in control.
There are many high-quality online resources available. The Rush Memory and Aging Project is an ongoing study that examines risk of Alzheimer’s Disease and decline in motor and cognitive function among the aging population.
Their website offers links to all the research conducted by the project, here.
Certified Dementia Practitioners help ease transitions
Our Certified Dementia Practitioners understand the unique challenges that come with a diagnosis of dementia. The length of time between an initial diagnosis and needing round-the-clock care may be years, and everyone’s journey is different.
Experts in the area of early onset dementia have many tools and a wealth of knowledge to share to help in any stage of the disease.
It’s important to have a team of in-home care providers, specialists, and doctors that can coordinate the best possible care plan through all of the changes that dementia brings.
To learn more about how we can help you find and use the best available resources to make day-to-day life as comfortable and pleasant as possible, please contact us.