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Lifestyle Changes to Manage Alzheimer Disease

Lifestyle changes can help a person with Alzheimer disease (AD) manage the disease and plan for the time when they are no longer able to do daily tasks.

Here are some changes that may help.

Exercise

Exercising at least 150 minutes a week may help boost mental and physical health. It may also lower the risk of falls.

Create a Calm Home

People with AD may get upset and disoriented. A home that is quiet and restful can help. Examples include staying on a routine and not moving furniture and objects.

Adapt the Home for Safety

Changes will need to be made to keep the home safe for a person with AD. These may be steps like installing grab rails, removing throw rugs, and ensuring proper lighting.

Monitor Personal Comfort

People with AD will have a harder time taking care of themselves. Caregivers will need to check for things like their hunger, thirst, and emotions.

Use Memory Aids

These aids can help a person with AD live on their own for a longer time. Examples are having a list of phone numbers and writing down daily routines.

Plan for the Future

Friends and family should help a person start to make plans early. A healthcare proxy will need to be chosen to make decisions when the person is no longer able to do so. A specialized setting will also be needed when caregivers are no longer able to help. Legal and financial plans should also be made.

REFERENCES:

Alzheimer dementia. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:https://www.dynamed.com/condition/alzheimer-dementia. Updated August 9, 2019. Accessed October 8, 2019.

Alzheimer's disease medications fact sheet. National Institute on Aging website. Available at: https://www.nia.nih.gov/alzheimers/publication/alzheimers-disease-medications-fact-sheet. Updated April 2, 2018. Accessed October 8, 2019.

Atri A. The Alzheimer's Disease Clinical Spectrum: Diagnosis and Management. Med Clin North Am. 2019 Mar;103(2):263-293.

What is Alzheimer's? Alzheimer’s Association website. Available at: http://www.alz.org/alzheimers_disease_what_is_alzheimers.asp. Accessed October 8, 2019.

Last reviewed September 2019 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Rimas Lukas, MD  Last Updated: 10/10/2019