WHAT TO DO AS A CAREGIVER TO KEEP YOURSELF and THE PERSON YOU'RE CARING FOR HEALTHY
There are many things you can do to prevent Alzheimer's or reduce symptoms once they're present. The more active
you are in selfcare measures, the more likely you are to control your symptoms.
If you are a caretaker, you can
use these tips as well to enhance your wellness, and the person you're caring for.
NUTRITION IS VERY IMPORTANT: SOME TIPS
* Avoid Fried and Processed Foods to Reduce Alzheimer's Risk
Eating a high trans-fat
diet during early and mid adulthood could increase your risk for Alzheimer's. Stop eating fried foods, meats, cheese,
pastries, cakes and pies, cookies, etc.
* Start eating 10 portions of fresh fruits and vegetables daily and stop eating meat and
chicken unless the animals roam freely and aren't fed chemicals and medicines. Read labels of processed foods more
carefully to be sure. If this diet doesn't achieve results, cut out all grains and compare the effects.
* Get enough Vitamin B-12 to Protect
A deficiency in vitamin B-12 and an over-abundance of homocysteine (a type of amino acid, a building block of
protein that can injury blood vessel linings) can cause dementia and severe nerve damage. Foods high in Vitamin B-12 include
sardines, mackerel, trout, herring, eggs, some cheese, nutritional yeast, crab, crayfish, clams, oysters, sea vegetables (kombu,
dulse, kelp, wakame), and fermented soyfoods (tempeh, natto and miso). Limit your coffee intake. One or more cups of coffee
or caffeinated beverages robs you of vitamin B (positive moood, brain function). Five or more cups of coffee a day raises
homocysteine significantly, producing negative effects for your heart.
*Get more Folate Every Day to Prevent the Development of Alzheimer's
A lack of folate
may also be involved in the development of Alzheimer's, so it makes sense to eat foods rich in this substance. Foods to
concentrate on include asparagus, desiccated or fresh liver, fresh dark green uncooked vegetables, wheat bran, turnips, potatoes,
orange juice, black-eyed peas, lima beans, watermelon, oysters, and cantaloupe.
*Use coconut oil for salad dressings, to cook with, and
put a tablespoon on cooked vegetables.
Several tablespoons of coconut oil a day can improve memory in 60 days or less.
*Drink more green
tea to protect Against Alzheimer's
Green tea exerts a protective effect against brain injury, according to a study reported in Brain
Click on this
link to find out why a handful of walnuts may help both you and the person you're caring for who has Alzheimer's http://www.care2.com/greenliving/a-handful-of-walnuts-may-keep-alzheimers-away.html
REDUCE EXPOSURE TO ALUMINUM, FLUORIDE,
PESTICIDES AND SPRAY CLEANERS
*Stop Aluminum or Fluoride Exposure to Reduce Alzheimer's Symptom
Aluminum in drinking water is correlated with Alzheimer's disease, and fluoridated drinking water is especially bad
because it can alter nerves and blood vessels in the brain. Drink distilled water or reverse-osmosis filtered water. Also
stop using aluminum-containing antacids and buffered aspirin, and stop using aluminum cookware. Avoid deodorants that contain
aluminum and never cook in aluminum pots or pans.
Minerals compete with each other in your body. So, by increasing your consumption of magnesium
and/or magnesium-rich foods, there will be less chance of aluminum absorption. Magnesium-rich foods include whole grain breads
and cereals, fresh peas, brown rice, soy flour, wheat germ, nuts, Swiss chard, figs, green leafy vegetables, and citrus fruits.
that you inhale may be completely absorbed because the olfactory nerves in the nasal cavity lead directly to your brain. For
this reason, discontinue the use of spray-on antiperspirants, hair sprays, cleaning solutions, hobby sprays, and paint and
Pesticides have been correlated with neurological changes
and cancer. Don't use them inside the home or on your yard if you want to keep your brain, liver and kidneys functioning
SUPPLEMENTS THAT CAN HELP
*Supplements that May Prevent or Treat Alzheimer's
Pycnogenol is a supplement that may help. Research reported in the Biological
Pharmacy Bulletin reports that the supplement may be useful to prevent and/or treat neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer's
Acetyl-L-carnitine is another supplement to consider. A report in Molecular Psychiatry summarized
the importance of this supplement: it contains both acetyl and carnitine, both of which have neurobiological properties that
have been shown to have beneficial effects in Alzheimer's disease.
Antioxidants can function as powerful protectants. A study in The New England
Journal of Medicine concluded that the progression of Alzheimer's in patients with moderately severe impairment is slowed
equally well with vitamin E or selegiline, a monoamine oxidase inhibitor. According to a report in the Journal of Neural Transmission,
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) in both its natural and synthetic form has been shown to protect neurons against the oxidative
cell death caused by Alzheimer's disease. (Antioxidants are also available naturally in fruits and vegetables. Another
reason to eat more of them!)
C is another antioxidant that can help. A report in Free Radicals in Biological Medicine reported that supplementation with
vitamin C and E together significantly decreases oxidation, a factor in Alzheimer's disease.
A study of older men
(aged 71 to 93) reported in Neurology found that participants who took both vitamin C and E supplements at least once a week
were 88 percent less likely to have vascular dementia (speech, language and visual disturbances, paralysis and mental impairment)
and a 20 percent greater chance of having better cognitive (thinking) function than those who didn't even four years later!
You might be best off taking the supplements in an ongoing fashion to prevent or treat Alzheimer's because participants
in the study who took the supplements over a six year period showed a 75 percent greater chance of better mental performance.
Alzheimer's is associated with deficiency of a brain chemical, acetylcholine. Lecithin (made from soy) and
choline (a supplement) are precursors to this chemical, so taking them daily could help.
For more updated information, go to
A HERB CALLED GINGKO COULD HELP, BUT DON'T TAKE IT WITH MEDICINES; TAKE AT A DIFFERENT TIME OF DAY
benefits Alzheimer's patients, according to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The ginkgo extract
improved thinking and social function. Note:
The use of any herbs needs to be carefully coordinated with other medications you are taking.
Be sure to consult with a health care practitioner who is an expert in herbs, since ginkgo can interact with aspirin and antiplatelet
drugs and can increase clotting time. Follow the dosage directions on the bottle.
LOWER BLOOD PRESSURE TO ENHANCE MEMORY
most age-related dementia is due to Alzheimer's, the second most frequent cause is high blood pressure.
How to Lower Blood Pressure
If you're overweight, lose weight by eating low-fat foods and increasing
exercise. Make sure you eat breakfast so you'll eat less in the evening when you won't be as active and it can turn
to fat. Also, take a stress reduction class to learn how to control stress and anger, and consider getting massage, which
can lower the body's level of cortisol, an indicator of stress.
KEEP THE BRAIN STIMULATED
*Keep Your Mind Stimulated
to Protect Against Alzheimer's
Adults with hobbies that exercise their minds, such as reading, jigsaw puzzles or chess, are protected more than
twice much from Alzheimer's disease as those whose leisure is limited to TV watching. The study, published in the Proceedings
of the National Academy of Sciences, found that unused brain power is lost brain power. Every day, be sure to read, do a puzzle,
play a musical instrument or a board game, knit or do woodwork. Physical activities such as baseball, football, bike riding,
swimming, walking, or skating also stimulate your brain and may help ward off Alzheimer's. One study reported in the American
Journal of Alzheimer's Disease and Other Dementias, that even playing Bingo did the trick!
For updated information on exercise and nutrition,
go to http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2016/10/27/dementia-environmental-risk-factors.aspx?utm_source=dnl&utm_medium=email&utm_content=art1&utm_campaign=20161027Z1&et_cid=DM123630&et_rid=1728384763
to Protect Your Brain Against Alzheimer''s.
homocysteine and depletes antioxidant vitamins that may protect the brain. So, find a way to stop smoking if you don't
want to develop Alzheimer's.
PLAY MUSIC TO REDUCE AGITATION
*Play Music to Calm Alzheimer's Agitation
Listening to music
you prefer can work better than medication for agitated movement according to reports in the Journal of the American Psychiatric
Nurses Association, International Psychogeriatrics and the Journal of Gerontological Nursing. Find out
what kind of music is preferred and play that at the first sign of agitation.
Can Improve Memory Loss Due to Alzheimer's
Exercise can help improve energy, circulation, stamina, and mood according to a report in Gerontology.
If you or a family member have Alzheimer's, you may have the desire, but not the wherewithal, to plan it. Someone else
may need to lead the exercise. Many nursing homes have seated range of motion programs. Even frail people can participate
in these, and memory loss, mobility, balance, flexibility, and knee and hip strength has been shown to improve in a three-times
a week program, according to reports in the Journal of Gerontology and the American Journal of Alzheimer's Disease. At
home, dancing, walking and mild stretching can be employed. Yoga or Miranda Esmonde-White's Classical Stretch DVDs or
PBS programs may be helpful. It is best to complete the activity regularly, at the same time of day and in the same vicinity,
to minimize confusion.
USE TOUCH TO REDUCE AGITATION
Consider Touch to Reduce Alzheimer's
have long used touch and massage to help patients relax. It is important to approach an agitated person in a gentle, unhurried
manner. Sometimes just holding hands and talking softly will reduce agitation. Gently stroking the patient from ear lobe to
chin in an unhurried manner can bring calm and may stimulate memory, according to a report in the Journal of Gerontological
Massage is one touch measure that can enhance relaxation as well as reduce blood pressure. A study
in the International Journal of Nursing Practice showed massage could also lessen anxiety and lower the body's level of
cortisol, an indicator of stress.
Gentle hand massage using lotion with a scent familiar to the patient can reduce anxiety and agitation according
to a study reported in the International Journal of Nursing Practice. If the patient is at home, use a lotion familiar to
the person with Alzheimer's. Hold some in your hands to warm it, and then gently massage the back. If a family member
is already in a nursing home, bring in lotion that is familiar for the nurse to use. Massage with lotion
can increase alertness and contentment, reduce stress levels and agitation, and improve sleep. Family caregivers providing
massage reported that their sleeping patterns improved too, and that they felt more calm and less stressed.
FOOT MASSAGE AND
Foot massage with acupressure reduced Alzheimer patient wandering and increased periods of calm
according to a study in Image: Journal of Nursing Scholarship. If a family member is a resident in a nursing home, ask that
he or she receive foot massage. If there are no nurses or massage therapists available to give a foot massage, investigate
having one come into the nursing home on a consultant basis. You may have to coordinate this with your doctor. If the family
member is at home, you can have a massage therapist come in, or try using lotion yourself to gently rub the family member's
stroking massage has also been used to reduce Alzheimer symptoms. A report in the Journal of Gerontological Nursing found
that slow stroke massage reduced pacing, wandering and resisting in individuals with Alzheimer's.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Consult the source of this article for more information and ideas:
Clark, CC. (2003). THE AMERICAN HOLISTIC NURSES' ASSOCIATION GUIDE TO COMMON CHRONIC CONDITIONS: SELFCARE ACTIONS
TO COMPLEMENT YOUR DOCTOR'S ADVICE. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley. http://www.wiley.com/
copyright, 2006, 2014, 2016 Carolyn Chambers Clark
Br J Nutr.
2015 Jul 14;114(1):1-14. doi: 10.1017/S0007114515001452. Epub 2015
The role of dietary coconut for the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer's disease: potential mechanisms of action.