Being diagnosed with dementia – Lifestyle changes can reduce chances of developing dementia

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Being diagnosed with dementia – Lifestyle changes can reduce chances of developing dementia

Being diagnosed with dementia – Lifestyle changes can reduce chances of developing dementia

Have you been just diagnosed with dementia? If answered yes, you must be feeling scared and numb, unable to make any important decisions about your life. When you know what a dementia diagnosis actually means, you should give yourself enough time to adjust yourself with it. Would you feel better by talking to a counselor at the dementia clinic where they offer this kind of support? You may even feel better by talking to your friends and family about your dementia diagnosis.

 

Being diagnosed with dementia may have a drastic impact on the life of a person. Common feelings may include loss, grief, shock, anger, disbelief, fear and also relief. While there are some people who might struggle to deal with the hysteria of emotions and hence oscillate between emotions in order to adjust. They feel scared about their future, afraid about the moments of forgetfulness and confusion and sad about the effect that dementia had on the people around them. 

Expert tips for the caregivers – How to support the emotional response of people?

  • Try to get a grip on what the person with dementia feels
  • Listen to all their worries that they share with you. Don’t dismiss the worries of a person
  • If you feel the time is right, you can cheer him up with your sense of humor
  • Enjoy the moment with the person and don’t spend too much time pondering over what the future will hold for you

Dealing with changes in feelings & emotions

There will also be changes in emotional responses of the people who have been diagnosed with dementia. You will find them exercising less control on their feelings and the way they express them. A person might become more prone to mood changes or become irritable or overreact to certain things. People who were usually interested in things might suddenly feel uninterested in things around him. After the initial change in feelings, there are several other cognitive changes that start occuring due to which you may have to take resort to in-home care for dementia patients. 

Such changes are usually tough for the caregivers to deal with and they can deal with this in a better way if they tend to remember that these are caused due to changes in the brain and not done intentionally. A person might react too emotionally towards a situation as they might have lost their ability to remember certain factual memories. So, it’s vital for you to look beyond behavior and words. Whenever there are unmet needs, this can also lead to strong emotions. 

Does being diagnosed with dementia damage your self-esteem?

Dementia is such a mental health disorder that it makes you feel insecure and also damages your self-confidence and self-esteem. The person who is suffering from dementia will feel that he is no longer in control of his feelings and might feel dejected due to being treated in a bad way post the diagnoses. All these can have a negative impact on the self-esteem of the person. On the other hand, dementia can even have an indirect impact on the self-esteem of a person by harming other parts of a person’s life. Financial upshots, health issues, status of employment and relationships can also suffer as a result of this. 

However, there are some others who may be enthusiastic enough to form new relationships post their diagnosis. They start supporting some group or attending a class. People who have high self-esteem can cope with their chronic health issues in a better way. 

How can caregivers support the person and help him retain his self-esteem?

  • Being a caregiver to the person, you should always encourage and praise him. Concentrate only on his positive sides and reward him due to the small successes that he achieves in his everyday life. 
  • Don’t give him belittling comments or harshly criticise him. 
  • In case the person commits a mistake, try to offer him as much support as you can.
  • Make sure people have enough time to perform the activities which they love to do and which gives them a reason to smile.
  • Help them maintain their current social relationships and also allow them to form new ones. They can perform joint activities with family and friends and also join hobby groups so as to have a rich and encouraging conversation. 

Can lifestyle changes diminish the risk of developing dementia?

There are several evidences which prove that cases like dementia could be easily prevented by spending a healthy lifestyle but there is need of long-term studies in order to prove this. Did you know that dementia is soon overtaking cancer as the most-feared disease among the middle-aged people? As there is no possible cure in sight and due to the sense of fatalism regarding this neurodegenerative disease, people are left feeling helpless about their current condition. This is why the epidemiologists are still studying whether or not changes brought about to the behavior of the people could delay the onset of dementia. 

While there are many who believe that this disease is preventable, there are several others who believe that this disease might be preventable. But what are the few lifestyle changes that you can bring about in order to reduce the risk of developing dementia? 

#1: Remain active as long as you can

As long as preventing memory loss is concerned, there is a strong link between body and mind which needs to be established. There are many studies from the Mayo Clinic which reveal that the physically active people go through a decline in their cognitive function and they also have a diminished risk of developing the disease. On the contrary, obese people face a heightened risk of developing mental disorders like Alzheimer’s disease. So, get up and move your body so that you can achieve a healthy mind. 

#2: Safeguard your heart’s health

There is a visible link between developing the risk of Alzheimer’s and cardiovascular health. Seniors should be watchful about protecting their health against strokes, heart attacks and high blood pressure. Doctors suggest you to eat a low-sugar, high-fiber and a diet that restricts calories to the least. At the same time, you will also need to maintain a healthy weight by continuing to exercise. However, these are not the only things which you need to do. 

#3: Engage in learning something 

Just as your muscles get weaker with age, so does your brain. If you don’t challenge your brain regularly, the brain will gradually get weaker. So, if you thought that your power to learn and think stopped just after you completed your graduation, think twice. There’s no age to learning and it has been proved that seniors who remain engaged with the world are actually challenging their brains in a positive way. Are you wondering how to practice mental health exercise? You can simply socialize with your family and friends, read a book or watch a movie. Even working a part-time job can put back your brain in shape. 

#4: Prevent hearing loss

Recently, there has been a new relationship that has been established between the onset of dementia and hearing loss. It is believed that loss of hearing abilities can add stress to a brain that is already vulnerable in accordance with the changes which occur. Loss of hearing can also boost feelings of social isolation and it is also true that old age could play a vital role in this association. 

#5: Hypertension and Type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes, hypertension and obesity are interlinked although they have PAFs that are lower than 5% among which hypertension contributes to the highest risk among the 3. Hypertension – 2%, Type 2 diabetes–1.2% and obesity – 0.8% is the actual data and chances of being linked with dementia. 

#6: Quit smoking

Quit smoking in case you’re a tobacco user. This is undoubtedly one of the toughest things to do as smoking has always been a part of the heritage of the states. However, there is no doubt about the fact that tobacco abuse can have a terrific impact on the health of your heart and it can lead to various types of cancers. The fact that smoking boosts the risk of dementia is one more worthy reason to quit the habit. Hence, make sure you quit smoking in order to diminish the risk of developing dementia. 

Virtual Reality delivers real-world benefits for dementia patients

If you’re into the tech world, you’ll know how Virtual Reality is offering new hope to aged people who are suffering from dementia. In fact, Virtual Reality is being used as a tool through which patients can connect with their caregivers. People who have lost their ability to remember things are now finding out new ways to be diagnosed with this disease and survive well with it. Here’s how this is being done. 

Detecting risk at the tender age of 18

Thanks to the VR technology, Alzheimer’s has become simpler to detect. The German scientists went through a study where they utilized a virtual maze through which they detected Alzheimer’s. In this study, the scientists took into people who were in between 18 and 30 years old and made them navigate through the Virtual Reality maze. This test proved to be immensely successful. Depending on the ways in which people navigated through the maze, the scientists could identify the subjects that held the genetic markers for the disease. This clearly means that with the help of Virtual Reality, scientists could diagnose high-risk patients and also let families to plan for at-home care Sydney for their patients. 

Virtual Reality environments can treat patients

Virtual Reality has already done its introduction into the field of Alzheimer’s treatment through several trials by some of the leading care professionals. It was in 2014 that the professionals utilized Microsoft Kinect Technology to create scene of sunlit forest with which the patients could easily interact. According to one more recent trial, they used a therapy called sensory therapy which is popular for therapeutic and safety uses. Basically it is risky enough to introduce the patients of dementia to such relaxing environments but thanks to VR, the care professionals have successfully built relaxing environments where the patients tend to be safe. 

Introducing human connection into healthcare

For the seniors, loss of mobility can lead to a sense of loneliness and this is in turn can lead to depression. However, now with the help of assistive technology, aging in place has become possible. Although VR can’t replace someone going somewhere in person but for those who may not be able to walk or drive with ease, it is undoubtedly the best thing for them. So, for the seniors who are aging in place, VR can be a lifeline to an outside world that they can no longer reach out to. 

Even for those who are presently living in assisted-living communities or retirement homes, VR gives them a chance to reconnect with several places which they thought they could never be able to connect with ever. As the users share a similar VR location, they also have a personal experience. Patients who participate may discuss what they’re doing and seeing. Even though the VR event is done, the participants still remain excited and they wish to discuss things later on. These activities motivate the different parts of the brain to remain active, engage with people around them and stay at ease.

Presently, there is no proven care for Alzheimer’s and dementia and there are no such treatments to slow down the progression of the disease. The treatments which are available only help in handling the symptoms. While the researchers are always looking for better treatments, an early diagnosis can often help. Whenever dementia is diagnosed early, this can reduce the financial and emotional challenges that are common with the diagnosis of the disease. Now that you can seek help of VR and Artificial Intelligence, coping with the disease has become easier. 

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