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Living with Alzheimer's Disease

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What to expect and how to manage your condition

Alzheimer’s disease affects how your brain works.  You might have trouble remembering how to do things. You might struggle to remember names for friends or familiar objects. You might have trouble concentrating.

Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease. This means that symptoms are mild at first and become more noticeable over time. As your disease progresses, you might feel angry or frustrated. You may feel confused or scared or sad.

Treatment

Alzheimer’s disease cannot be cured. Instead, doctors help patients control the disease. Your doctor will come up with a treatment plan to help you with symptoms. Your plan may include:

  • Medications. These can help with memory loss, sleep problems, or agitation.
  • Finding ways to reduce stress. Stress can make many symptoms of Alzheimer’s worse.
  • Eating a nutritious diet and exercising regularly.
  • Helping you and your caregivers find support.

Your doctor will also come up with a schedule for check-ups. Be sure to have your vision and hearing checked regularly. Problems in these areas can make you feel even more confused or disoriented.

Staying Well

Organizing your life and your home are important, too. A consistent routine can provide comfort. Eat meals, sleep, and do chores at regular times. Schedule activities so you do difficult tasks when you feel best. Also, be sure to do things you enjoy. Activities that stimulate the brain may slow the progression of Alzheimer’s. Talking to friends and listening to music keep your mind healthy.

Make things easy to find at home. Remove clutter. Organize cupboards, closets, and drawers.  Attach labels that describe contents.

Take steps to improve your ability to do everyday activities. When you can follow the treatment plan your doctor recommends, you can enhance your quality of life for as long as possible.

 

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