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Lifestyle Changes to Manage Alzheimer Disease

Lifestyle changes can help a person with Alzheimer disease (AD) manage their symptoms. They can also plan for the time when they can no longer do daily tasks.

Here are some changes that may help.

Exercise

Exercising at least 150 minutes a week may help boost mental and physical health. It may also lower the risk of falls.

Diet

It may help to have a healthy diet with a lot of:

  • Seafood
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Seeds and nuts
  • Olive oil
  • The diet should have little red meat. The Mediterranean Diet is an example of this type of diet.

    Create a Calm Home

    People with AD may get upset and disoriented. A home that is quiet and restful can help. Examples include staying on a routine and not moving furniture and objects.

    Adapt the Home for Safety

    Changes will be needed to keep the home safe for a person with AD. These may be steps like installing grab rails, removing throw rugs, and adding proper lighting.

    Monitor Personal Comfort

    People with AD will have a harder time taking care of themselves. Caregivers will need to check for things like their hunger, thirst, and emotions.

    Use Memory Aids

    These aids can help a person with AD live on their own longer. Examples are having a list of phone numbers and writing down daily routines.

    Plan for the Future

    Friends and family should help a person with AD start planning early. They will need to choose a healthcare proxy. That proxy can make decisions when the person is no longer able. A special care setting may also be needed when caregivers can no longer help. Legal and financial plans should also be made.

    References

    Alzheimer dementia. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/alzheimer-dementia. Accessed April 6, 2022.

    Alzheimer's disease medications fact sheet. National Institute on Aging website. Available at: https://www.nia.nih.gov/alzheimers/publication/alzheimers-disease-medications-fact-sheet. Accessed April 6, 2022.

    Atri, A. The Alzheimer's Disease Clinical Spectrum: Diagnosis and Management. Med Clin North Am. 2019; 103(2): 263-293.

    What is Alzheimer's? Alzheimer’s Association website. Available at: http://www.alz.org/alzheimers-dementia/what-is-alzheimers. Accessed April 6, 2022.