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Dementia (cont.)

Prevention

Dementia is hard to prevent, because what causes it often is not known. But people who have dementia caused by stroke may be able to prevent future declines by lowering their risk of heart disease and stroke. Even if you don't have these known risks, your overall health can benefit from these strategies:

  • Treat or prevent high blood pressure. For more information, see the topic High Blood Pressure.
  • Don't smoke. For more information, see the topic Quitting Smoking.
  • Stay at a healthy weight. This also reduces your risk of diabetes, another risk factor for dementia. For more information, see the topic Weight Management.
  • Keep your cholesterol in the normal range. For more information, see the topic High Cholesterol.
  • Get plenty of exercise. For more information, see the topic Fitness.
  • Stay mentally alert by learning new hobbies, reading, or solving crossword puzzles.
  • Stay involved socially. Attend community activities, church, or support groups.
  • If your doctor recommends it, take aspirin. For more information on how to reduce your risk for stroke, see the topic Stroke.

Home Treatment

Home treatment for dementia involves teamwork among health professionals and caregivers to create a safe and comfortable environment and to make tasks of daily living as easy as possible. People who have mild dementia can be involved in planning for the future and organizing the home and daily tasks.

Tips for caregivers

Caregivers should remember to seek support from other family and friends. For more information, see the topic Caregiver Tips.

Nursing home placement

Even with the best care, a person with progressive dementia will decline, perhaps to the point where the caregiver is no longer physically, emotionally, or financially able to provide care.

Making the decision about nursing home placement is often very difficult. Every family needs to consider its own financial situation, emotional capacity, and other issues. For more information, see:

Click here to view a Decision Point.Alzheimer's or Other Dementia: Should I Move My Relative Into Long-Term Care?
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