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Maintaining a Quality of Life with Dementia - DementiaGuide.com
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How to Maintain Quality of Life with Dementia


Posted on October 22, 2009 by DementiaGuide

Maintaining a Quality of Life with Dementia

Tips on how to live with dementia

Living with Dementia can be a monumental challenge for anyone. Many people withmilddementia are able to live independently and maintain a reasonable quality of life. With regular checks by a relative, home-health aide, or a visiting nurse, they are able to live without constant supervision, preserve their self-esteem and make things appear more "normal".

A key to functioning independently is to maintain a familiar and safe home environment. To cope with the loss of memory, a person with dementia should refer to a calendar to help him/her remember important dates and keep track of time. Labeling cupboards and drawers with words or pictures will help them know the contents stored there. Other minor modifications of the home are needed. For instance, getting rid of area rugs and putting grab bars in the shower and mats in the tub will prevent falls. Sometimes, disabling a stove or using childproof knobs may be necessary to prevent cooking accidents. Keep in mind that the balance between safety and independence should always be assessed on a regular basis.

A person with dementia should try to remain physically, mentally, and socially active. Daily physical exercise has been shown to decrease the risk of strokes - a leading cause of vascular dementia. A person with dementia should engage in as much mental activity as he or she can handle. Research has shown that mental stimulation and activity can slow the progress of some types of dementia. Some good choices are reading, puzzles, and engaging in safe hobbies and crafts. Social interactions are stimulating and decrease depression and feelings of isolation and hopelessness that can occur with dementia. It is important to attend support meetings, participate in scheduled activities with the local senior or community center, or have scheduled visits with family and friends.

Another significant self-care strategy involves maintaining a "brain-healthy" diet. This will also decrease physical complications such as malnutrition and constipation.Brain healthy diet foods include a balanced consumption of low-fat proteins, such as chicken and tuna. Also, eat plenty of dark-skinned fruits and vegetables, such as oranges, arugula, broccoli, beets and blackberries.

By engaging in these self-care strategies, people with dementia can delay the deterioration of his/her quality of life. Also, combining these methods is more effective than adopting one independently.

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Last updated September 13, 2017
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