Senior Citizen's Guide to Pittsburgh Fall/Winter Edition 2015-16 - page 18

Managing Dementia with Medications
Although there is no known treatment to cure the
root cause of dementia or halt its progress, in recent
years, more medications have become available to
help manage some types of dementia. These drugs are
known as cholinesterase inhibitors, and in the U.S.,
there are four different types available: donepezil,
alantamine, rivastigmine and tacrine.
How to Help a Friend or Family Member with
Dementia
• Maintain a consistent, caring attitude.
Even if
they may no longer fully understand what you say,
they still retain feelings and emotions. Be flexible
and always allow plenty of time for them to
respond and help them maintain their self-esteem.
• Speak gently and clearly.
Keep sentences short
and simple. Use specific names whenever you can,
such as, “Your daughter, Jennifer.”
• Use hand gestures or facial expressions.
Pointing or demonstrating can help them
understand. Also, holding their hand may help
keep their attention and demonstrate that you are
there and you care.
• It’s okay to express happiness.
A warm smile,
a lighthearted attitude, humming or singing a
song together, and shared laughter can often
communicate more than words can.
Finally, in order to help others, remember you first
need to take care of yourself. Make sure you are also
getting adequate nutrition, rest, exercise, and social and
mental stimulation, so you continue to stay strong and
healthy now and in the years to come.
Article provided by Gateway Health
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