3 Important Tips for People Who Are Living with Dementia
Posted: Feb 03, 2021
You’ve recently received the diagnosis of "dementia" from a medical professional, and you’re wondering what you can do to cope. Besides taking prescription medications and undergoing occupational therapy, what can you do to manage this condition? Here are three things that you should consider.
1. Look into Memory Care
As your dementia symptoms progress, you might find that managing a household on your own is difficult. It could even be dangerous. What if you leave the stove burner on? What if you forget to close the front door?
At this time, you have two obvious choices: you could hire caregivers to come to your home and help you accomplish daily tasks, or you could move into a retirement community. A retirement community will have specialty care requirement suites and professional care services available at all times to assist you with everything that you need. The right retirement home will offer memory care services for seniors living with dementia, Alzheimer’s and other forms of cognitive decline.
Getting professional support will make managing daily tasks easier and safer.
2. Use Tech to Your Advantage
There are lots of ways that tech can help you cope with dementia symptoms like confusion and memory loss. You don’t have to purchase multiple gadgets to cope, either. You can do a lot with a single smartphone.
These are some of the ways that you can use a smartphone to cope:
- Use calendar apps to remember important dates and appointments.
- Save destinations (your home address, your doctor’s office, etc.) into your GPS apps. If you ever get lost, you can use the apps to find your way back to these locations.
- Save important contact information on your phone. Put a photo of the contact beside their name or add their role in the description ("doctor," "friend," "cousin") to help jog your memory.
- Use voice recorder apps to record memos for yourself.
- Use your phone’s camera to take photos of things that you want to remember.
- Use alarms to remind you of important tasks, like taking your vitamins/medications for the day.
What if you lose track of your phone? It’s common for patients with dementia to lose track of everyday items like smartphones, house keys and wallets or place them in unexpected areas. The good news is that many new smartphones have tracking options that will help you remotely trace the device and figure out where it went missing. You can use "Find My iPhone" on iPhones and "Find My Device" on Android phones.
3. Exercise More Often
If you’re not spending much time exercising, you need to get up from the couch and start moving your body more often. Research shows that physical exercise helps people with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia by preventing further loss of cognitive function.
It also improves aspects like sleep quality and mood. Patients who exercised regularly were less likely to develop depression and were more likely to have restful sleep every night. A little bit of daily activity can make a big difference in your quality of life.
Dementia can make you feel like you’re losing control of your life. These three tips can help you manage the symptoms better and make you feel like you have more control over this challenging situation.
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