Dealing with Dementia

Dementia is the sixth leading cause of death and the most expensive illness in the United States. The word dementia does not refer to a specific disease; instead, it’s an overall term that describes a wide range of symptoms associated with a decline in memory or other thinking skills that are severe enough to reduce a person’s ability to perform everyday activities.

Treatment of dementia depends on its cause. In the case of most progressive dementias, including Alzheimer’s disease, there is no cure and no treatment that slows or stops its progression. However, there are drug treatments that may temporarily improve symptoms. For instance, chemical inhibitors and boosters, antipsychotics, antidepressants, and pain relievers are some of the common drugs prescribed by doctors. Non-drug therapies can also alleviate some symptoms of dementia.

According to David Troxel, co-author of The Best Friends Approach to Dementia Care, there are several ways to care for someone with dementia that don’t require drugs. The therapeutic environments, affirmations, and relationships established between someone with dementia and a caregiver are very important for holistic wellness. This socialization plays a major role in dementia care. Surrounding your loved one with music, art, and nature are also ways of creating comfortable, stimulating environments. In some cases, these types of human interactions show more positive results than medication itself.

Overall, creating an engagement and purpose are some of the most impactful ways of dementia care.

Located on the Caloosahatchee River, Shell Point is home to miles of scenic walking trails, more than a hundred activity and volunteer groups, and multiple caregiver support groups that create a therapeutic environment for wellness – in addition to memory care services, skilled nursing care, and more.