Try these activities with a person with Alzheimer’s

e-UPDATE from the ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE EDUCATION & REFERRAL CENTER

National Institute on Aging sent this bulletin at 10/10/2017 12:45 PM EDT

Household chores: Wash dishes, set the table, prepare food, sweep the floor, dust, sort mail and clip coupons, sort socks and fold laundry.

  • Cooking and baking: Decide what is needed to prepare the dish; measure, mix, and pour; tell someone else how to prepare a recipe; watch others prepare food.
  • Exercise: Take a walk together, watch exercise videos made for older people, use a stationary bike, use stretching bands, throw a soft ball or balloon back and forth, lift weights or household items such as soup cans.
  • Music and dancing: Play music, talk about the music and the singer, ask what the person with Alzheimer’s was doing when the song was popular, sing or dance to well-known songs, attend a concert or musical program.
  • Pets: Feed, groom, walk, sit and hold a pet.
  • Gardening: Take care of indoor or outdoor plants, plant flowers and vegetables, water the plants when needed, talk about how much the plants are growing.
  • Visiting with children: Play a simple board game, read stories or books, visit family members who have small children, walk in the park or around schoolyards, go to school events, talk about fond memories from childhood.

Learn more about adapting activities for people with Alzheimer’s disease.

Share this information on social media:

Twitter: People w/ #Alzheimers may have trouble deciding what to do each day. You can help! Check out a list of activities: http://bit.ly/2y9Sidk

Facebook: People with Alzheimer’s still enjoy participating in a wide variety of activities. Try involving them in simple activities like household chores, cooking, exercise, dancing, or visiting with children. Visit the National Institute on Aging’s website to get more ideas on adapting activities for people with Alzheimer’s:http://bit.ly/2xwAbMR

 

Preventing Cognitive Decline and Dementia: A Way Forward

Published on Oct 2, 2017

In a 2017 report, a committee of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine evaluated the most rigorous, up-to-date research on how to prevent cognitive decline and dementia, as well as recommended ways to conduct future prevention research. This video, featuring several members of the committee, highlights the report’s conclusions and recommendations.

Encouraging but Inconclusive: Interventions that May Help Prevent Cognitive Decline and Dementia

Published on Oct 2, 2017

In a 2017 report, a committee of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine evaluated the most rigorous, up-to-date research on how to prevent cognitive decline and dementia, as well as recommended ways to conduct future prevention research. This video, featuring several members of the committee, outlines the three interventions named by the committee: cognitive training, blood pressure management for those with hypertension, and increased physical activity.

NIA’s Alzheimer’s Caring Guide in Spanish

Looking for Alzheimer’s caregiving information in Spanish?

Check out Cómo cuidar a una persona con la enfermedad de Alzheimer: Una guía fácil de usar del Instituto Nacional Sobre el Envejecimiento.

This new book from the National Institute on Aging (part of the National Institutes on Health) has helpful tips on topics including: changes in behavior; wandering; healthy eating and exercise; and caregiver health.

Copies are available to order for free on our website, or read the new Alzheimer’s caregiving information in Spanish online.

National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease: 2017 Update

The National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease: 2017 Update is now available here.

Achieving the vision of eliminating the burden of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias requires goals. The five goals that form the foundation of the National Plan are:

  1. Prevent and Effectively Treat Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias by 2025.
  2. Enhance Care Quality and Efficiency.
  3. Expand Supports for People with Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias and their Families.
  4. Enhance Public Awareness and Engagement.
  5. Track Progress and Drive Improvement.

The activities outlined in this National Plan Update vary in scope and impact, and include:

  1. Immediate actions that the Federal Government has taken and will take;
  2. Actions toward the goals that can be initiated by the Federal Government or its public and private partners in the near term; and
  3. Longer-range activities that will require numerous actions by federal and non-federal partners to achieve.

The National Plan was never designed to be a “Federal Plan”. Active engagement of public and private sector stakeholders is critical to achieving these national goals.

For more information about ongoing or previously completed projects, please consult Appendix 3: Implementation Milestones.

How Alzheimer’s affects the brain

In Alzheimer’s disease, changes to the brain likely start a decade or more before memory and other cognitive problems appear. This new video developed by the National Institute on Aging shows what we’ve learned about the brain in Alzheimer’s, and where research on treating or curing the disease is headed.

Learn more about what happens to the brain during Alzheimer’s disease.

How do doctors diagnose dementia?

To diagnose dementia, doctors do a medical assessment to determine whether changes are because of an underlying treatable condition like depression or vitamin B12 deficiency. Then, they will assess whether there are signs of dementia.

A medical assessment for dementia generally includes:

  • Patient history. Typical questions about a person’s medical and family history might include asking about whether dementia runs in the family, how and when symptoms began, changes in behavior and personality, and if the person is taking certain medications that might cause or worsen symptoms.
  • Physical exam. Measuring blood pressure and other vital signs may help physicians detect conditions that might cause or occur with dementia. Such conditions may be treatable.
  • Neurological tests. Assessing balance, sensory function, reflexes, vision, eye movements, and other functions helps identify conditions that may affect the diagnosis or may be treatable with drugs.

Learn more about diagnosing dementia.