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6 Things that May Cause Worsening Dementia in Seniors

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Dementia is a progressive condition that causes symptoms, such as memory loss, confusion, poor decision-making, and agitation, to worsen over time. However, developing a proper care plan, taking medications correctly, and letting go of bad habits could slow the progression of this neurological disorder and boost quality of life. Below are some of the things that could make dementia worse and steps your family can take to mitigate these issues.

1. Unhealthy Eating Habits

Overeating is an issue for seniors with dementia, especially those who consume a lot of junk food to handle the mental impact of the condition. Promote healthy eating habits, including a nutritious diet full of fruits, vegetables, fatty fish, and lean meats. Seniors need to avoid processed meats, fried foods, margarine, sodas, cakes, and other items that are full of trans fats and dangerous chemicals that increase toxins such as beta-amyloid plaques in the brain. These chemicals could cause dementia symptoms to worsen and speed up cognitive decline.

2. No Physical Activity

Exercise can slow the types of cell degeneration associated with dementia and prevent many symptoms from worsening. However, living a sedentary lifestyle can affect blood pressure, which is why your parent needs to stay physically active throughout the various stages of dementia. Modify your loved one’s exercise routine based on his or her current abilities and strengths.

Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.

3. Isolation

Memory loss and reduced cognitive health can increase the odds of isolation and depression in older adults with dementia. Find ways to keep your loved one socially active and mentally stimulated. The stimulation can increase brain function, lower stress levels, and enhance mental health. Offer your loved one reassurance, and choose social activities he or she can excel at, regardless of his or her current limitations.

4. Poor Medication Management

Doctors prescribe medications to ease symptoms of dementia, but failing to follow treatment plans correctly can cause the condition to progress at a faster pace. Develop effective medication management strategies that prevent dementia from worsening and boost your loved one’s quality of life. Use medication management apps. You can also put a caregiver in charge of providing reminders for your loved one to take his or her medicine each day.

A professional caregiver trained in dementia care can be a fantastic source of support for you and your loved one. Families looking for top-rated Fairfield senior care providers can reach out to Home Care Assistance. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones.

5. Lack of Sleep

Failing to get adequate amounts of sleep can accelerate the spread of toxic clumps throughout the brain and speed up the progression of neurological conditions like dementia. By getting plenty of rest each night, the body can remove dangerous toxins, including the tau proteins that damage brain cells and interfere with internal communications.

6. Smoking

Smoking cigarettes and cigars or using other nicotine products could increase the risk of blood clotting in the brain, leading to strokes and other severe problems. The smoke from tobacco also causes oxidative stress that damages tissues in the brain and speeds up the progression of dementia. Your loved one should develop healthy habits to curb the desire to smoke, such as taking up meaningful hobbies, eating nutritious snacks, and joining support groups for seniors with dementia. 

Dementia can be challenging for seniors to manage, but they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional dementia care. Fairfield seniors can benefit greatly from the Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), an activities-based program designed to promote cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia. CTM is included at no additional charge with any of the in-home care plans provided by Home Care Assistance. If your loved one needs help with the challenges of aging, call one of our compassionate Care Managers today at 203-955-1915.