Medicine Non-drugs In Alzheimers

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The Role of Non-drug Interventions in Alzheimer's Patients

Non-drug interventions play a great role in improving the quality of life of the Alzheimer's patients. Proper education of the caregiver and the patient about the illness, its prognosis, and the available treatment options is very important. Training the caregiver in the skills and attitude required in the management of the patient to ensure his or her safety can be of great help in reducing patient's fear and anxiety. Training will also increase the caregiver's knowledge, confidence, and skills.

The patients' symptoms may be triggered by both personal and environmental factors. Personal factors are known to aggregate behavior symptoms. It is, therefore, important to understand some of these factors that may trigger the symptoms. Environmental factors include loud noises or any distraction in the patient's surroundings, such as the sound and visuals of a television program. Since factors that aggravate a patient's behavior are personal it is, therefore, important to check for thirst, hunger, pain, fatigue or the desire to urinate. It is the responsibility of the caregiver to create an environment where the patient feels calm and safe.

There is a range of techniques that can help improve the condition of the Alzheimer's patient. Some of these are aromatherapy, exercise, light therapy and relaxation techniques. Aerobic exercise, in particular, has been shown to improve cognition in patients with dementia. Additional strategies include providing a structured environment, giving consistent reminders to the patient about daily activities, being supportive, avoiding confrontation, and limiting the choices that a patient is asked to make. When caregivers learn to use these techniques, the quality of life improves for the patients, as well as for others who come into contact with them.