Fact or Myth: "There is a Cure for Dementia"
Disclaimer: Any and all elements of this post DO NOT prevent or treat the diagnosis of dementia. They are useful activities to incorporate into your daily regime to enhance cognitive wellbeing.
Although there is no known cure for dementia, there are many preventative measures an individual can take in order to lessen their chances of developing the disease, along with ways to live well after diagnosis. Keeping the brain active is a key component. Learning new information, reading, picking up new hobbies and continuing to enjoy old ones can really enhance the brain functions and abilities. Keeping a sharp mind, following a well balanced diet and staying physically active is important at any age, greatly impacting the aging process and reducing the risk of developing dementia.
Activities to help reduce the risk of dementia:
- Word search
- Follow a nutritious diet
- Exercise regularly
- Engage in social activities
Because Dementia is such a complex disease, with many possible causes, it has made finding a cure unsustainable at the moment but this just means that we must be creative when finding new ways to live successfully with Dementia. There are many resources available for both the person diagnosed with dementia, and their care team, that will aide in successful day-to-day living. It’s important to remember that one will not lose their independence with diagnosis, and it may be months or years before total independence is lost so it is crucial that the individual carries on with normal daily activities as long as possible.
Tips for Daily Living
- Remain engaged in your community and social network. Remaining socially active is a great way to keep your mind and body in motion. This will not only positively impact your cognitive health but will also have a positive affect on your emotional and mental health. Staying motivated to partake in new or pre-existing hobbies/activities will help enhance motor skills, cognitive abilities, and is proven to be good for your overall well-being.
- Pay attention to what may cause stress or discomfort. This can help you eliminate negative feelings or reactions, allowing you to focus your attention on things that bring joy and satisfaction to you day
- Write a daily schedule to help you keep track of the things that need to be accomplished for the day, focusing on prioritizing tasks and aiming to complete them in a realistic time frame.
- Focus on the skills and what you are able to do in the moment. Setting realistic goals for your day will help you maintain independence while encouraging you to remain active and feel more in control of your own life.
Tips on how to live well with dementia
- Engaged in community;
- Stay connected to family and friends;
- Keep open lines of communication;
- Develop a strong care team/care plan;
- Continue to engage in everyday activities;
- Adapt hobbies to meet your needs;
- Treatment for dementia would depend on the cause but because dementia is caused by different diseases, it is unlikely that there will be a cure for a single dementia;
- Most progressive dementia do not have a cure or treatment, like Alzheimer’s and vascular.