Aug 31, 2017 by Comfort Keepers Denver
In the medical field, many patients – even doctors – stick their noses up at the wide variety of non-medical treatments. This is quite problematic, as much of this form of intervention can be quite useful, even lifesaving.
In fact, research shows that as many as 1 in 3 cases of dementia can be preventable, just by utilizing more of this kind of treatment. Here are the highlights from the study:
If you have any sort of impairing condition such as diabetes, heart disease, and so on, this could contribute towards a dementia diagnosis, or worsen your dementia if you already have it.
Lifestyle habits like drinking and smoking can also take a toll. Simply reducing or cutting out these bad habits, changing to a whole-foods diet and exercising more can make your chances of getting dementia plummet.
The above being said, these lifestyle changes would do the most work at a younger age. Living a poor lifestyle until age 69 and expecting to avoid a dementia diagnosis at 70, for example, is not the most strategic way to go about it.
As it turns out, even from age 15 will lifestyle habits start affecting your possibility for dementia later on down the line. In your younger years, a contributing factor to the disease is education ceasing entirely at 15 years of age. In your middle years, hearing loss, obesity and high blood pressure are more risk factors. Avoiding these can help you reduce a dementia diagnosis by as much as 20%.
Something you may not know about dementia patients is that many of them take antipsychotic medications – not because they are truly psychotic, but because these medicines help alleviate the agitation and dementia behavioral issues that can become a safety concern.
Unfortunately, the side effects of these drugs can be very intense, and many patients have to take more drugs on top of that to help balance out said effects.
However, the great news is that this research shows being more social can reduce the need for these anti-psychotic medications in the first place. Anything from discussions, group therapy, playing games with other residents or family members, and more interactive approaches to health care in general all improved mood and decreased the symptoms requiring the use of antipsychotics. This could prove to be a safer, cheaper, and all-around better way to manage dementia behavioral symptoms than using dangerous pharmaceuticals.
These are just some of the ways non-medical interventions can help dementia patients, and even prevent a third of diagnoses. They’re a more natural and cheaper way of managing symptoms, which may prove to be the better solution for all parties involved. If you are concerned about your lifestyle habits and possibility of dementia, consult your physician.