What are the Best Non-Pharma Options for Memory Loss?
If you are the loved one of someone who is living with memory loss, you want the best possible care for this individual. While a variety of treatment options exist, this article will focus on the best non-pharmacological treatment options available – memory training, mental and social stimulation, and physical exercise programs – to help those who are living with memory loss. Research suggests that these strategies can help to improve some people’s cognitive performance.
At The Moments Memory Care, a first-of-its-kind memory care community, we specialize in a care model that extends beyond exclusively using pharmacological memory loss treatments for our residents. Our fundamental belief is that we want to enrich the lives and dignity of our residents by providing a sensory care approach within a thoughtfully-designed living community in order to enhance the daily well being of our residents. To learn more about our approach to memory loss care treatment at The Moments, don’t hesitate to contact us today!
Memory Loss Treatment
As memory loss progresses, it becomes difficult for an individual to complete daily tasks and safely manage an independent lifestyle. It’s critically important for a person suffering memory loss to live in a comfortable and stable environment. For this reason, many loved ones of those suffering from memory loss seek out memory care centers.
Memory care communities, like The Moments Memory Care, provide specialized treatment and care for those who are living with memory loss. While we know the choice to move a loved one into a memory care center is a big decision, at The Moments our residents and their family become OUR family, so we prioritize making this transition as seamless as possible.
Therapy for Memory Loss
Specific therapies are available and are proven to help lessen certain symptoms of Alzheimer’s and other forms of memory loss.
Non-Pharmacological Approaches in the Treatment of Dementia
Per the NCBI, there are also several excellent options for non-pharmacological approaches to treating dementia. You can even try some of these with your loved one at home, if you wish, though we always recommend that therapy and treatment is overseen by a professional.
Reality Orientation Training
Reality orientation training is actually a kind of cognitive therapy. It involves helping improve the patient’s orientation in space and time. In reality orientation training, the patient is repeatedly given basic information like their name, the date or the time. It is either done during conversations, or by putting items called “orientation aids” around the resident’s home. Orientation aids are commonly calendars or door signs that name each room of the house. However, like cognitive therapy, there is a possibility that reality orientation training can agitate or frustrate the person. If this happens, don’t worry. Stop and try another time.
Physical, emotional, and social stimulation are all extremely important for those suffering with memory loss. Did you know that research shows that social activities can improve the quality of life for those with memory loss, and their families, too?
And just like it does for anyone else, physical activity benefits those with memory loss, too. It might even be more important for those living with memory loss. People with Alzheimer’s in particular can stay active for longer if they take part in exercise programs.
Cognitive therapy is the assessment and treatment of cognitive skills, including memory. It helps those suffering with memory loss complete daily tasks and increase their self-confidence. Cognitive therapy works best for those who are still in the mild- to-moderate stages of Alzheimer’s or dementia. It might include working on math problems or puzzles. Cognitive therapy also might include mind exercises that involve completing a series of numbers or remembering and recognizing images.
One side effect of cognitive therapy is that it can be extremely frustrating for patients with memory loss to fail a certain arithmetic exercise repeatedly.
Emotion-oriented treatment for patients with memory loss focuses on validating the person’s feelings, values and experiences. One type of emotion-oriented treatment is validation therapy. In this approach, caregivers make sure the patient’s atmosphere is caring and close. They use special communication techniques to make the person feel heard, safe, and comfortable.
An example of this kind of therapy is a man who is suffering from Alzheimer’s who cannot find his wallet. He is angry and convinced that his wallet was stolen from him. He might want to call the police right away. Rather than pointing out to the man that he is just confused and lost his wallet, you might suggest an alternative, like trying to find the wallet together first.
Another kind of emotion-oriented treatment is reminiscence therapy. Reminiscing is the enjoyable recollection of past events. For patients suffering from memory loss, reminiscence therapy can be used to help improve their memory capabilities and also improve their quality of life. The person is encouraged to talk about their hometown, stories about growing up, and their younger days. Research shows that this kind of therapy can help mood and mental performance.
Memory loss is challenging not just for the person who is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, but also for the person’s family and friends. At The Moments, we know about this from personal experience. If you are caring for a loved one who is suffering from memory loss and you’re not a medical professional, there are programs available to help support you. These education programs are beneficial for both you and your loved one. Training can help reduce your loved one’s challenging behaviors related to memory loss, like frustration, aggression, and restlessness.
Some experts believe that eating a certain kind of healthy diet might help prevent or even slow down cognitive issues. The Mediterranean diet is one example. According to one article, the Mediterranean diet improves cognition, memory, and brain volume. However, there is no scientific proof that eating a particular kind of diet of any kind can prevent or slow down the effects of Alzheimer’s disease.
There are various dietary supplements available on the market that claim to help mental performance. Despite claims that fish oil supplements with omega-3 fatty acids might help people who are suffering from Alzheimer’s, research found that they had no known effect on the disease. There is no other scientific evidence that other supplements helped, either.
Additional Treatment Options
Many other non-pharmacological approaches are available to try to treat memory loss. For example, some examples are reflexology and aromatherapy. It’s not scientifically clear if these kinds of treatments work, but they might be able to relax someone with memory loss who is aggressive or unsettled.
However, every day, the treatment options for memory loss are evolving and new treatments are being developed. No matter which treatment options you choose for yourself or your loved one, it is important to make sure that it is overseen by a professional. The ideal environment for anyone living with memory loss is a memory care center.
Memory Loss Treatment at The Moments Memory Care
At The Moments Memory Care, we go beyond just utilizing pharmacological approaches for treating our residents. We utilize the sensory design method to help our residents. The sensory design method stimulates our residents’ senses each moment of every day. Our goal is to invigorate their senses, while also providing a relaxing and luxurious environment.
The Moments is a first-of-its-kind memory care community. In addition to the sensory design method, we provide many different kinds of programming for our residents that are based on the latest advancements in care for those with Alzheimer’s and other kinds of memory loss. We provide special events and outings for our residents across the Twin Cities metropolitan area to keep them engaged and active. At our memory care center, we provide music therapy, nature therapy, animal-assisted therapies, and more. There are several opportunities each day for residents to move and work on their fitness.
If you are interested in our treatment of memory loss for yourself or a loved one, don’t hesitate to contact The Moments Memory Care today. We are here to help you and your family!
TAKE A TOUR
Our resident specialist will give you a private tour of The Moments Memory Care Community and answer any questions you may have.
Our HVAC system was uniquely designed to deliver six complete air changes per hour which means clean air, safer air, throughout the building. Our resident rooms have individual fresh air and filtration above the windows, both designed to increase safety and sanitation levels.
Our normal protocol includes rigorous daily disinfecting of resident rooms and common areas. During every shift, staff disinfects doors, handrails and other common areas.
Meals have shifted from community gatherings to small group, socially distanced meals that are served in shifts, tables and chairs are sanitized after each seating.
ALL residents and staff are tested bi-weekly, at a minimum and take temperature checks are conducted daily of all residents.
Anybody – staff, caregivers, residents, vendors – who enters The Moments will pass through the ENTRY where Far-UVC lighting will inactivate surface-level viruses and bacteria
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