As a couple where one partner is living with dementia, how are you both promoting a healthy body, and brain?
Exercise isn't limited to the body. Stimulating the brain through learning new things, challenging memory, promoting problem solving, and developing new skills, may contribute to building capacity.
In the spirit of challenging both mind and body: consider your answers to the following questions...
- Have you checked out your local Alzheimer Organization? Many provide opportunities for group and individual activities, as well as providing education.
- Have you taken the time to read about, or ask your medical provider about foods that may be brain boosters? Would a Dietician consult help? Is this covered by your insurance?
- Have you had a recent medical exam and sought advice about what physical activities may be recommended to improve your overall well being? Plain old walking is a great form of exercise.
- Do you require assistive aids to get physical? Ask your medical practitioner for advice. Referrals could be made to physiotherapists or occupational therapists. (Costs may be incurred.) Is there a government based Assistive Devices program for aid in the purchase of items like braces, walkers etc.? Be certain you ask these questions before making purchases. (http://www.elderpilot.com/site/blog/2014/08/06/the-assistive-devices-program-ontario-residents-check-out-this-gem-of-an-opportunity)
- Would a home safety review promote mobility? In Ontario, the Community Care Access Centre can send an Occupational Therapist to your home at no charge. They will make recommendations about items such as hand railings, bathroom grab bars etc. Equipment costs and installation are extra fees. How can your home be made more safe and reduce the risk of falls?
- What can you do to stimulate your brain? Do you like word puzzles, math puzzles, board games etc.? Would you attend an adult learning program or continuing education? How about trying your hand at learning a new language?
- Socializing with others is another great way to stimulate the brain. What are you doing to keep social?
- What are you doing to reduce stress? Think about methods to find your inner peace and promote relaxation.
When a diagnosis of dementia enters your lives, it is not time to pull out the rocking chair, and sit out life. Rather it is time to become empowered as to healthy lifestyle choices, to enhance body, mind, and spirit.
After all, a Disease does Not Define us. (http://www.elderpilot.com/site/blog/2015/07/25/a-disease-does-not-define-me-living-tapestries-living-with-alzheimer-disease)Check out the next Blog #5: Long-Term Planning