More than 6 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s, and that number is expected to reach 13 million by 2050. Although dementia treatment can lessen the impact of symptoms on daily life (and promising new drugs may slow the progression of dementia), currently there isn’t a cure or a way to prevent the disease that affects memory, thinking and behavior.
Common dementia treatment options include:
Medication options for dementia treatment
Medications are commonly used to treat symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. Symptoms include cognitive (memory and thinking) issues, behavioral changes and sleep problems.
Recently, there have been exciting breakthroughs in dementia treatment. New medications are showing promise at slowing the progression of dementia. These include anti-amyloid antibody intravenous (IV) infusion therapies for people in the early stages of dementia.
When considering medication options for dementia treatment, questions to ask your loved one’s doctor include:
- How does this medication treat the symptom(s)?
- How will you measure its effectiveness?
- What are the potential side effects? When should we contact you if we notice changes?
- How will this drug interact with existing treatments for other conditions?
- What options are available if insurance does not cover this drug?
A Person-centered approach
A person-centered approach complements medical dementia treatment by addressing behaviors that often stem from an unmet human need. Executive Director of Memory Support Services for Country Meadows Retirement Communities, Joel Kroft, explains, “All behavior has purpose and meaning, and all humans use behavior as part of our normal communication with others. When we recognize that behaviors are often expressing an unmet need, either physical or emotional, then we can work toward understanding instead of frustration. If we meet the unmet need that is being expressed, then that behavior often goes away. Through this person-centered care lens, we can minimize or eliminate many challenging behaviors that are really just our residents expressing their needs, without the use of medications, and improve the quality of life for our residents living with dementia.”
The Validation Method is a technique and a philosophy for dementia care created from the person-centered care practice of the late, Naomi Fell. This approach accepts the reality of the person with dementia rather than trying to force him/her to accept ours.
Family, friends and caregivers learn how to listen with empathy and ask questions that allow the person with dementia to more fully express frustrations and concerns with dignity. By being accepting and compassionate, these conversations can help reduce anxiety and worries in the person with dementia and often improve connection with others.
Learn how Country Meadows has embraced the Validation Method in our commitment to quality memory care.
Technology is offering exciting new tools for dementia treatment. The innovative Tovertafel (“Tover Table”) is an interactive game console that projects dynamic images onto a table or floor for participants to “touch.”
At Country Meadows, use of the Tover Table has been shown to increase alertness and focus, reduce restlessness and tense behaviors including sundowning and promote social and physical activity in residents with dementia. For families, it enhances connections in a fun and meaningful way.
Watch a video of our Allentown memory care residents enjoying the Tover Table.
Country Meadows Retirement Communities offer personalized memory support services in 9 locations in Pennsylvania and one in Frederick, Md. Our all-rental senior living communities provide levels of care for each stage of dementia, in a safe and secure environment with a variety of accommodation options. We invite you to schedule a personal visit or contact us to learn more. Be sure to ask about our available trial stay options, too. We’re here to help!