People might lose their cognitive functioning at any point of their life, but mostly during their old age. The ability of thinking, reasoning, remembering, etc. might get hugely reduced in someone, which hinders their daily activities and life to a great extent. This is not really a disease, rather a term for the lack of cognitive abilities, which is mostly seen in old people. However, it is not a part of the normal aging process.
As most types of dementia aren’t possible to cure, if anyone is suffering from dementia, they will most probably have it for the rest of their life. Boredom and lack of stimulation might become one of the most frustrating things for people living with dementia. It is also possible to suffer from hearing loss due to dementia. So, aside from going through any remedial process such as medications and therapies, a dementia patient needs to engage in different social and fun activities to have some pleasure in life.
Medications for Dementia
You can never really cure dementia, you can only improve the symptoms temporarily by going through different medications and therapies. These will keep the symptoms in check temporarily and improve the life of the patient. Going through some medications regularly can be beneficial, even though some of these might be really expensive. Here are some well-known medications that dementia patients can go through to have some improvement regarding their conditions and lifestyles-
There are some medications like cholinesterase inhibitors that boost the levels of a chemical messenger and improve some cognitive functions such as memory and judgment as a result. Some other medications also work in the same process such as Rivastigmine, Galantamine, Donepezil, etc.
These medications can work really well for other types of dementia such as vascular dementia, Lewy body dementia, Parkinson’s dementia, etc, and also Alzheimer’s. However, these medications can have some side effects, including vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, etc. Slow heart rate, sleep disturbances, fainting, etc., can also be seen.
This particular medication works by regulating the activity of another chemical messenger that is involved in brain functions, named glutamate. Learning and memory are affected by glutamate, so this medication helps with those. However, a patient might feel dizzy as a side effect.
There can be many kinds of other symptoms seen in a dementia patient, which might include sleep disturbances, hallucinations, depression, agitation, etc. So, doctors can prescribe patients other medicines, which can particularly help with these side problems, not help with dementia directly.
Different Therapies for Dementia
Medications can help a patient temporarily, but the success of curing it, or keeping it at bay is not always ensured. Also, a patient might face various side effects. But you should know, medications are not the only thing that can help a person with dementia. Various non-drug approaches such as different therapies are getting popular day by day, as they are easier to go through, cost less, and have almost no side effects. So, let’s look at some other measures you can choose to help a dementia patient-
You can teach a patient different coping behaviors through occupational therapies, and make a safer home for them. You can also help the patients to manage their behavior, prepare them for dementia progression, and prevent accidents like falls and others.
Bright Light Therapy
Studies have shown that bright light therapy has promising effects on dementia patients. Bright light therapy can affect different chemicals in the body, which might be able to help dementia patients with numerous problems, such as frustration, agitation, sadness, low energy, etc. Also, it can help dementia patients mostly with their restlessness and problem in sleeping, as light therapy can significantly help with sleeping problems, and provide relaxation and comfort.
A dementia patient can be helped to function and focus better by reducing noise and clutter. You can hide away objects from a patient that might threaten their safety. You can also monitor different systems to alert you whenever a dementia patient is doing something, and align the functions of your house with their conveniences.
You can break the tasks for the patients into simpler and easier steps and focus on the success they are gaining in finishing those tasks, not the failures. You can also form a life structure or routine for them that can reduce confusion.
Taking Care Of Hearing Heath
Taking care of hearing health is really important to keep dementia in check, as most cognitive abilities are heavily relied on hearing abilities. If someone faces hearing loss problems, the possibility of their suffering from dementia in the future increases. And if someone with dementia has hearing loss problems, their condition can worsen. So, it is important to take care of hearing health, and if someone has hearing loss problems, one must take measures such as using hearing aids to increase hearing ability.
You can go for medications in order to keep the condition in check, but you can also take measures that will help the patients to improve their lifestyle, and have an easier and better life. Also, these will keep the condition from worsening, so make sure to take needed steps.