Alzheimer’s Resolutions

Alzheimer’s Resolutions
The New Year brings renewed hope for prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. While little progress seems to be made in arresting this dread disease, there is a great deal percolating beneath the surface as old premises are being ruled out. The negative can potentially point us in a positive direction.

Meanwhile this is an opportune time to make some changes or improvements for both the caregiver and the patient:
  • Exercise! Combine strength training with aerobics to improve both head and heart, control insulin levels and improve your lipid profile. Exercise will oxygenate and drive glucose into the brain to improve focus and mood. The best prescription is for caregiver and patient to exercise together – to relieve stress and improve mood. Exercise will facilitate activities of daily living and boost the immune system. (Always check with your doctor regarding do’s and don’ts)
  • Eat healthy and graze throughout the day to keep the brain well nourished. Food and mood correlate highly. If an Alzheimer’s patient has trouble chewing certain foods, then consider pureeing, blending, adding soups and stews and other easier to chew foods. Avoid perpetuating a sugar lust for you and your patient even though it is soothing - temporarily. It is not healthy for the both of you.
  • Live in the moment instead of a crystal ball of catastrophe. Tough times don’t last, but tough people do. Inhale, absorb and celebrate good moments because this is your interim of recovery. Learn to be reasonably happy by letting your problems take a back seat. Keep your expectations basic and realistic. There is a powerful relationship between what we believe and how our bodies respond.
  • Give yourself a time out and absolutely no guilt for caregivers. You need to fortify your own identity and do the things you enjoy. There is great productivity in taking a break. You come back better.
  • Cut down on the mini-stressors to help you deal with the bigger issues. In the middle of difficulty lies possibility.
  • Try a dose of coping humor. You can lessen the severity of a problem by laughing at it.
  • Clean up your home and clean out the clutter. Try to see what you clearly have as you make room for positive energy. Recognize what is before your eyes and then what is hidden might be revealed to you.
  • Don’t fall down, fall up!

For more information on caregiving read my book, Changing Habits: The Caregivers' Total Workout. To listen to archived radio shows with guest experts visit Turn On Your Inner Light Radio Show

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