As of today there is no treatment for Alzheimer’s disease; however, therapies are available to treat or postpone symptoms that may arise from the disease. It is important to know what is available and how to talk to your doctor about these options.
For Memory Loss:
There are five main drugs on the market today that work to mitigate symptoms such as memory loss, confusion and difficulty with reasoning and thinking tasks. Each person reacts differently to different drugs so it is important to talk to your doctor about which is right for you.
For Behavior Changes:
Changes in a person’s attitude or behavior can be some of the most challenging to understand and adjust to during the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. However, there are many resources available to help navigate both caregivers and individuals diagnosed through these situations.
Anti-depressants, anti-anxiety and anti-psychotic medications are all commonly used to treat behavior changes. These medications can be useful if used in conjunction with environmental modifications. It is important to not over use these drugs and to weigh the costs and benefits of using these treatments.
Before starting a medication, talk to your doctor about:
- What symptom(s) it will target?
- What are the risks involved?
- How much do they suggest you begin with? (it is usually better to start with a lower dosage)
- What changes might you expect as a result of the medication?
It is alright to ask questions. Know the facts before making a decision.
There is a lot we can do without using medication to make living with Alzheimer’s less stressful for the individual diagnosed as well as caregivers. The best way to learn about these methods is to attend one of our many ABC’s classes available throughout the month or to sign up for our free Savvy Caregiver course.
Some quick tips for family and friends to remember:
- Watch how you communicate. Speaking too fast or correcting someone with dementia may not always be the best response.
- Make sure they are comfortable. Watch the temperature of the house and noise levels.
- Try not to disrupt their schedule if they have one. This can really throw someone who has dementia off if they have a routine.