10 tips for staying well with dementia

Published on Read in 5 mins

1. Exercise

Whatever you enjoy you will be more likely to keep up.  Even if you are not able to walk, there are chair exercises that will keep the blood circulating.

2. Hydrate

People who are dry get confused, and also get infections.  Water is great, but lots of other things have fluid in them like soups and custards.

3. Socialise

It makes a real difference, even phone calls or getting a pet.  You might feel lonely and wish someone would call.  Maybe someone else is feeling like that, so you should call them first.

4. One glass of red wine or champagne a day is said to work

…some worry if the proof is still weak.  But if it feels good and isn’t interfering with your medication, you might consider it?  Check with your doctors.

5. Don’t ever get drunk. 

That destroys brain cells and you need to be conserving them now.  Binge drinking, where you save all your drinks up for one session is the worst.

6. Stop smoking

The sooner the better because the benefit starts on day one.  The fuel for your brain is oxygen and smoking cuts that down.  Why would you do that?

7. Make some design changes

Make design changes in your house to increase light and avoid falls.  Dementia friendly design changes can be simple and inexpensive.

8. Eat well

The Mediterranean diet including fish and fresh veg is said to be good.  The evidence in scientific terms is hard to find, but it is logical that fresh food and low fat, and lots of plant foods will keep you well.

9. Sleep well

If you get outside in the day you’ll sleep better at night.  Sleep makes a big difference to everything in life, how you feel, how you respond to infections, and how you can function.

10. Don’t worry! 

Stress makes dementia much worse, so try to avoid it.  Stress can come from noise and too much change and from being with people who don’t make you feel good.  Prayer and meditation have worked for humans from millennia so don’t forget the support you can get from your faith at this difficult time.