Laurie Owen: Hi! I'm Laurie Owen from Home Instead Senior Care. In this video, myself and Dr. Jane Potter from the University of Nebraska Medical Center will discuss the lifestyle changes for patients with Alzheimer's disease or other dementias.
A person living with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias will find that day-to-day activities become more and more difficult.
Dr. Jane Potter: Let's first talk about daily tasks. Patients should do more difficult tasks during the times of the day when they feel best. They should be allowed plenty of time and take a break if needed. If a task is too difficult, they should get as little help as needed to successfully complete the task.
Ability to communicate using words is a common and progressive problem for these patients. Again, the first step is to allow extra time if necessary. Ask the person to repeat what they said, speak slowly, or write it down. Also to help focus be sure to talk in a quiet place to avoid distractions.
Two other difficult issues are loss of driving privileges and memory loss. Once a person is no longer able to drive, other transportation options should be provided by family members, friends, or community services. And as memory starts of fade, posting a schedule of the things to do everyday or having someone call to remind them of certain activities can help. Labeling specific items also works well.
Laurie Owen: Getting outside help and services is also an important part of managing and coping with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias. In addition, it will ease the burden on family members and friends who are coping with a loss of a loved one.
Check with a medical professional or a local branch of the Alzheimer's Association for ideas and references on home care agencies.