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Activities and exercises for the rehabilitation of dementia


Ideally, old age is associated with experience, wisdom, and the ability to look at everyday troubles from the height of past years.

But in real life it is often necessary to see elderly people who are completely helpless in everyday life or, even worse, behaving inappropriately.

It happens that over the years a person becomes dangerous for himself, and sometimes for others. And the ailment with a beautiful name is to blame for everything - dementia.

Dementia in old age means atrophy of the brain and, as a consequence, progressive dementia.

How to avoid at a young and middle age

In accordance with the observations of scientists studying the problem of senile dementia, in the medical environment there was an opinion that pathological changes in the work of the brain in the elderly are not treatable.

The fact is that the prerequisites for disruption of blood vessels and death of brain cells in the head arise long before old age.

When mental abnormalities become noticeable, it is too late to act. Best case scenario degradation can be slowed down. That is why the prevention of senile dementia after seventy years is no longer relevant.

All activities aimed at the prevention of dementia at 50 and 60 years old, you must start much earlier - after forty years.

Dementia threatens people not only in old age, but also in youth. See if you are at risk:

Risk factors

You should be wary of the formation of this ailment in yourself or your loved ones in the following cases:

  • a person’s age is approaching 75 years (moreover, women are more susceptible to the development of dementia),
  • the patient has diabetes (this disease is fatal for the vessels of the whole body, including the brain),
  • someone from close relatives suffered from manifestations of senile dementia (a tendency to the disease is in the genes),
  • head injuries

  • a stroke was suffered
  • diagnosed with infectious brain lesions, such as syphilis, encephalitis, meningitis, tuberculosis,
  • low level of physical and intellectual activity for a long time,
  • excess blood cholesterol,
  • systematic self-poisoning with alcohol, nicotine, psychotropic drugs,
  • throughout life depressive disorders were characteristic of a person.
  • If you notice in yourself or your loved ones one of the listed symptoms or their combination, then don't despair.

    It is necessary to consult a doctor in a timely manner when alarming signs appear, adhere to the recommendations of specialists, take the prescribed drugs.

    Well and of course think about preventing dementia in time.

    • what are the causes of the development of the disease and is there a connection with other diseases,
    • why it develops in children and adolescents and what is early dementia,
    • is there a difference in the manifestations in men and women between acquired and congenital dementia,
    • how many stages of development does the disease go through
    • what treatment methods exist, what drugs are used,
    • how many years do people with dementia live, do they have disabilities, what care do they need,
    • how to behave to relatives with people with dementia.

    What to do to prevent ailment in old age

    It is possible to prevent the development of senile dementia. In the event that your age is already over forty, follow these guidelines:

    1. Control your sugar levelThis will preserve the health of blood vessels to old age.
    2. Keep your blood pressure normal and blood cholesterol to prevent a stroke.
    3. Give up bad habits, until it's not too late.
    4. Do not self-treat depressive states, all drugs that depress the brain (sleeping pills and antidepressants) can be taken only as directed by a specialist.
    5. If possible take care of your head from injuries, especially if falls and bumps were already in the past.

  • Be active in physical terms: do morning exercises, dance, try to walk in the fresh air every day (if possible - in good company).
  • Adhere to the principles of proper nutrition - More vegetables, fruits, fish, dairy products, less fatty meat and products containing refractory fats.
  • Get enough sleep, reasonably alternate work and rest.
  • Develop resistance to stressful situations, it is unlikely that you will ever live serene, but get upset at every occasion - to endanger your brain.
  • Do not lock yourself in four walls, be open to communication with friends, don't be afraid to meet new people.
  • Train not only the body, but also the brain - study a foreign language, read, write letters to relatives and friends, memorize poems and excerpts from prose works, solve problems, solve or write crosswords and puzzles.
  • Develop fine motor skills Rukov - do needlework, modeling, application, drawing, collect puzzles, in the end.
  • How not to become a fool at 70? Prevention of dementia:

    Treatment of dementia in the elderly

    All of the above recommendations will do good service in the event that a person has long crossed the age limit of maturity.

    It remains to add that older people and their loved ones must always pay attention to sudden bouts of forgetfulness, distraction, which were previously not peculiar.

    At the first sign of impaired attention or memory seek qualified help from a psychiatrist. Specialists of this profile have vast experience working with such patients and will certainly help - they will prescribe medication and give useful recommendations.

    The diagnosis of dementia, like any other, requires verification. In order not to make a mistake with his formulation, the doctor will probably prescribe special tests and offer the patient to undergo testing.

    Here are the studies you might need.:

  • a blood test is required (general, to detect the level of thyroid hormones, for syphilis and HIV, for biochemistry, for sugar),
  • if necessary, spinal cord puncture is prescribed,
  • electroencephalography,
  • Ultrasound diagnostics of the vessels of the neck and head,
  • blood pressure monitoring
  • may require computed tomography, MRI, as well as the appointment of additional studies to monitor the course of metabolic processes and evaluate blood flow in different parts of the brain.
  • Psychiatrists are also usually use testsspecially designed to detect dementia:

    • Kshops (brief scale for assessing mental status) - conducting this test will adequately assess the patient’s memory status, as well as the necessary skills (to concentrate, communicate one’s thoughts coherently, navigate in time and space),
    • BPD (battery of frontal dysfunction) - verbal fluency, the presence of a grasping reflex, the ability to repeat a set of movements with one hand, and the ability to generalize objects (objects, phenomena) are checked.

    I would like to wish everyone to live happily ever after without fearing the sunset of their years. Take a look around - you will see many examples of decent old age people who have kept the will and interest in life.

    And if it so happened that loved ones took a step from common sense to madness, try to understand them and forgive, make the rest of their lives at least comfortable.

    The clinical psychologist talks about the rules that will help your brain work more productively and keep your mind until the end of your life:

    The importance of rehabilitation in the fight against dementia

    Successful rehabilitation of patients with dementia depends on many factors that influence the course of chronic pathology of the central nervous system. How effective the efforts will be for the maximum possible preservation of memory and thinking, determine the following conditions:

    • timeliness of diagnosis
    • the age of the person
    • organization of quality care,
    • the presence of concomitant somatic pathologies.

    Rehabilitation for people who are gradually losing previously acquired knowledge and practical skills, includes primarily exercises against dementia, which stimulate the cognitive functions of the brain. Regular training improves metabolism in tissues, enhances the formation of interneuronal synaptic connections, and supports the vital functions of cells. In the initial stages of the disease, exercises to activate thought processes facilitate and slow the progression of the symptoms of dementia.

    As the disease develops, the patient’s mental abilities will steadily decline, depriving him of the ability to perceive verbal information. Changes affect the character, personality traits, human behavior. Such specificity of the disease suggests the direction of the main efforts in rehabilitation to train the memory by means of the senses: vision, hearing, smell, taste. Even in the later severe stages of dementia, tactile touch causes glimpses of perception of the surrounding reality on an emotional level.

    Important! Properly selected exercises for dementia for older people will help them to maintain their self-esteem, self-esteem and independence, as well as realize their importance and importance.

    According to many experts, classes in dementia, which make up the psychological side of comprehensive rehabilitation, in most cases are one of the key points in the cognitive rehabilitation of intellectual disorders. Help of this type improves the course of the disease, and care and attention from loved ones strengthen communication within the family.

    The main areas of rehabilitation for dementia

    The choice of occupation for patients with dementia largely depends on the individual characteristics of the person. It is necessary to take into account his habits, interests, hobbies, professional type of activity, preceding the disease. Currently, various approaches to creating a cognitive reserve in people suffering from senile dementia have been developed and are being used. Correction of dementia is carried out using the following rehabilitation methods:

    • involvement in daily household activities under the supervision of family members to ensure safety: cooking, gardening, raising houseplants, caring for pets, cleaning rooms,
    • passive listening and active pursuit of music, dancing, playing sports,
    • intellectual exercises and educational games: reading, memorizing texts and poems, chess, solving crosswords,
    • art therapy: fine arts, sewing, knitting, pottery or carpentry,
    • biographical training in order to maintain long-term memory: viewing photographs, retro films and favorite musical works, discussing past events that left a clear imprint,
    • keeping a diary to record vital experiences, current affairs requiring memorization,
    • aromatic therapy using essential oils.

    Important. To stop dementia in the elderly and prolong high-quality old age, exercises must be included in the daily routine, which must be clearly observed.

    Cognitive rehabilitation also involves physical exercises that can stop dementia, improve mental state, and increase the body's defenses. Among the recommended exercises that enhance the effect of intellectual training are walks in the fresh air, water procedures, therapeutic exercises, and massage.

    Exercises for Dementia Patients

    The main rule in rehabilitation is that all the activities used for people with dementia should find a positive response from them, bring satisfaction and increase self-esteem. Experts advise you to try various exercises and dwell on those that evoke pleasant emotions and memories in patients. In addition, it is important to alternate between different types of training - auditory, visual, verbal, quick-witted. Such an approach to the rehabilitation of impaired mental functions will help to avoid fatigue, irritability, unwillingness and refusal to continue further activities.

    Recommended Dementia Exercises
    Exercises for logical thinking, visual and analytical memoryExercises for the rehabilitation of auditory, abstract and tactile memoryExercises with additional stimulation of fine motor skills
    • classify and sort things by color or size,
    • find in magazines, books pictures with specific images,
    • spell simple words in reverse order
    • name words starting with a common combination of letters, for example with “ko”, “le”.
    • finish familiar expressions, proverbs, sayings,
    • listen and find out the song, artist,
    • Find in the list of words superfluous: Monday, Wednesday, Saturday, phone.
    • identify by touch or smell a fruit, vegetable, fragrant or spicy plant.
    • plasticine modeling of objects of various shapes,
    • the formation and baking of simple curly cookies,
    • wiping the cutlery and arranging them in the kitchen drawer,
    • sorting of laundry after washing.

    A rehabilitation center for people with dementia provides an opportunity for informal communication, which is often deprived of people with mental disorders. In addition to cognitive trainings conducted by professional educators and psychologists, volunteers, artists, and musicians are involved in working with wards. At meetings, patients and family members learn how to live with dignity, to understand and accept loved ones who are losing their personality traits.

    Rehabilitation for dementia as an important part of treatment provides a chance to delay the negative effects of the disease. According to statistics, the correction of fading cognitive functions using cognitive exercises and adequate drug therapy reduces the time spent on patient care by 30%. This means that taking care of a loved one will help them to feel useful and necessary, and their relatives to maintain strength and health in order to fulfill their care obligations.

    10 exercises for the brain against dementia

    Over time, we not only lose the potential of our muscles. Our brain can atrophy. The cognitive reserve of the brain - its ability to withstand neurological damage due to aging, and other factors without visible signs of slowdown or memory loss - has been decreasing over the years. This can make mental tasks difficult. Similar to physical training, which adds muscle potential and helps maintain muscle tone with age, researchers believe that a healthy lifestyle and regular, targeted brain exercises help reduce cognitive waste.

    Healthy brain: a multifaceted approach

    In one of the detailed studies on the relationship between lifestyle and dementia - acquired dementia - scientists found that people who lead a healthy lifestyle significantly reduce the risk of it.In a 2013 study published in PLOS ONE, 2235 men were studied over 30 years and measured their participation in five types of healthy lifestyles: non-smokers, optimal BMI (body mass index), high intake of fruits and vegetables, regular physical activity and low or moderate alcohol consumption. Participants who followed four or all forms of behavior were approximately 60% less likely to develop cognitive impairment and dementia.

    “Brain health approaches include a balanced diet low in fat, bad cholesterol, and high in antioxidants.”

    Says Robert Bender, MD, medical director of the Johnny Orr Memorial Center and the Healthy Aging Institute in Des Moines, Iowa.

    In addition to good nutrition, regular exercise can promote vascular health to protect brain tissue. It is also extremely important to avoid monotony and boredom.

    “The brain wants to learn new things”

    - says Dr. Bender, noting that some researchers believe that people are more vulnerable to dementia when they pay less attention to others.

    “When the brain is passive, it tends to atrophy”

    For this reason, sedentary and relatively passive activities, such as sitting in front of a TV or computer for several hours a day, can be detrimental to brain health over time.

    Brain Training in the Real World

    Along with a healthy diet and regular exercise, there are ways to give your brain your own workout at no cost. Although brain training software is ubiquitous these days, it has not yet demonstrated any significant neurological benefits for the elderly. In a 2014 survey published in PLOS Medicine, Australian researchers reviewed 52 different studies on computerized cognitive training in all 4885 participants and found that games were not particularly effective in improving brain function.

    Experts recommend adhering to brain training, which includes action in the real world. Exercises to enhance brain function should offer novelty and challenge.

    “Almost any change can work.”

    Says David Eagleman, Ph.D., a neurologist and associate professor at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas.

    “Return home on different routes, brush your teeth with your opposite hand. The brain works through associations, so it’s easier to remember the lyrics of a song with music than without it. Attract more feelings. ”

    Your morning newspaper is a great start.

    “Simple games like sudoku and other intellectual tasks are good, as well as pictures with differences.”

    Says John E. Morley, Director of Geriatric Medicine, University of St. Louis, and author of The Science of Staying Young. In addition to word games, Dr. Morley recommends the following exercises to improve mental abilities: