Dementia is a progressive disease with various signs and symptoms. Additionally, treatment for dementia is possible, which is why diagnosis is essential and can be done in multiple ways. But suppose you’re someone who has just found out their loved one has dementia. You aren’t really going to be bothered about the why and what of it, but instead, you will want to know how you can treat it.
What are the dementia treatment options available at your disposal? Questions like this would likely be circulating in your head. We certainly understand how you feel, which is why we will comprehensively talk about everything you need to know about all possible treatments for dementia that you can opt for.
So let’s not beat around the bush and get right to it.
Factors to consider for dementia treatment
We know that dementia is caused by multiple conditions that can affect the brain. Therefore, treating dementia involves having to treat each of these specific conditions, which can exist simultaneously. This makes the treatment of dementia quite complicated. There are plenty of incurable dementia cases, and this is something you will have to keep in mind. As such, there is no singular dementia cure.
However, this does not mean that dementia can’t be treated and reversed. It simply means that the procedure for treatment is not as straightforward as you might think. Other factors like medical history, genetics, age, and health come into play, making the whole process complex. Nonetheless, you must stay positive and try some of the treatments suggested here. Of course, you must do so while under the supervision of a medical professional and while following their guidance.
What is the treatment for dementia?
There are various treatment options out there with varying degrees of success. Even if they cannot cure dementia, they can at the very least help you treat and manage symptoms. Some of these treatment options for dementia care are:
There are a variety of medicines that can be part of dementia treatments and help you temporarily deal with the symptoms of dementia. Most of them are used to treat people with Alzheimer’s disease but are certainly not restricted to it. Additionally, you can use certain medications to treat conditions with dementia-like symptoms and help cope with challenging behavior issues caused by dementia. Some of these medicines are:
Also known as Namenda, it is used to treat people with various forms of dementia. This includes those with Alzheimer’s, Lewy bodies dementia, and a combination of vascular and Alzheimer’s disease. It helps control the brain’s chemical glutamate, which is needed for memory and learning. Some side effects include constipation, headaches, and dizziness.
These medicines can help treat various sorts of dementia, like Lewy bodies, Parkinson’s disease, and with a mix of Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia. They prevent and slow down the breakdown of acetylcholine. This chemical in the brain helps nerve cells communicate and are involved in judgment and memory. There can be various side effects like diarrhea, nausea, loss of appetite, and disturbance in sleep.
Medicines can be helpful but should not be the only way to deal with dementia. Instead, it should only be a part of treatment for dementia patients. Therefore, including various forms of therapies and activities can be essential in helping dementia patients. These therapies can also be fantastic if you’re opposed to traditional forms of medicine and prefer a more non-drug approach. At the very least, these therapies can be a source of pleasure for them, especially when dementia can be a frustrating condition. Some of these therapies are:
Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (CST)
This structured therapy program involves dementia patients with mild to moderate dementia taking part in group exercises and activities. These are designed to improve patients’ memory, problem-solving and language ability through games, singing, cooking etc.
As the name suggests, this form of therapy involves talking about events and items that correspond to the patient’s past. For example, talking about a patient’s hometown, school life, favorite hobbies, and other memories. Things that may be discussed may include photos, music, and personal possessions. This helps the dementia patient stay in touch with their memory which can slow down their symptoms of memory loss. Additionally, they can even help improve mood and wellbeing. This therapy can even be done in a group setting.
Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapy
This therapy involves working with a trained professional and a patient’s loved one to achieve a personal goal. This can be anything like everyday tasks like using a mobile phone. In essence, this therapy involves getting patients to use working parts of their brain to help parts affected by dementia.
Dementia is a disease of the mind that can affect the daily habits and behavior of whoever is stricken with it. Therefore, making positive lifestyle changes can help deal with the effects of dementia and may also improve health and behavior. You can implement a range of lifestyle changes for great benefits. These are:
Staying active with exercise can help slow down symptoms of dementia, like issues with thinking. Alternatively, it can also help with mental conditions caused by dementia-like anxiety and depression. It is crucial that the patient conduct exercise safely as different stages of dementia can affect their abilities in different ways. Patients may exercise in various ways, like joining a fitness class or simply going out for a walk.
Getting good sleep
For the most part, the symptoms of dementia tend to be worse during the night. Therefore, it is essential to follow an effective nighttime ritual that will encourage sound sleep. Keeping away from loud noises and distracting activities like watching television can help. We also suggest avoiding daytime naps as they may prevent patients from sleeping at night properly. Additionally, drinking caffeine during the night can affect your nighttime ritual, so limiting caffeine is a good idea. When going to sleep, avoid night lights as they may cause disorientation.
Keeping a calendar
Doing so can help dementia patients stay organized. A calendar can help them keep track of upcoming events, activities and medication schedules. Doing so can be an excellent mental exercise that may counter symptoms of dementia. Additionally, incorporating reminders into the calendar can be effective as it helps them remember any plans they may look forward to.
People that do not like traditional medication can opt for alternative medicine. There are several alternative medicine options like herbal medicines, dietary supplements and vitamins. These are touted to be effective by many people, but there is insufficient evidence to confirm it as such. Therefore, we recommend being cautious when using such medicines as they are not regulated and may not work.
To sum up
Dementia is a disease that can affect the brain and be a distressing experience for those affected and their families. Therefore, most people are anxious to find out whether there are any treatments for dementia. We have seen how there are various treatment options, but there are certain factors to consider. These factors can consider how effective these treatments are, with some forms of dementia being incurable. We hope this proves insightful to you and helps you understand dementia. This may aid you in helping your loved one who has dementia to get better with time.