Alzheimer’s disease is a debilitating condition that robs people of their ability to think, remember and function without assistance. It’s equally devastating to the patient’s family who mourn the loss of their once vivacious and active loved one. The disease is the most common form of cognitive disabilities that come under the category of dementia and is responsible for 60-80 percent of all dementia cases.
Alzheimer’s affects the part of the brain that’s responsible for learning and remembering new information. As the disease progresses, individuals have increasingly severe symptoms. They may become suspicious of family, friends and caregivers. Symptoms include mood and behavioral changes, along with difficulty speaking, walking and even swallowing. Complications of Alzheimer’s disease include heart attack, strokes, infections and kidney disease.
There’s currently no way to prevent or reverse Alzheimer’s, but there are ways to slow the worsening of symptoms and remain physically healthy and physical therapy can play a major role.
Physical therapy can help by:
- Maintaining mobility
- Keeping bones and muscles healthy
- Mitigating the risk of heart disease and associated conditions
- Maintaining proper nutrition
- Building core strength, balance and coordination
- Reducing the risk of falls and injuries
Quality Of Life With Alzheimer’s With The Help Of Physical Therapy
Your physical therapist will be focused on improving quality of life for you or a loved one and maintaining functionality as long as possible. He/she can develop a specialized exercise program to reduce the risk of falls, improve balance and enhance coordination. Exercise is beneficial for strengthening bones to mitigate the risk of fractures, reducing cholesterol, and lowering blood pressure.
If you aren’t able to fully participate in an exercise plan, hands-one mobilization can provide the movement needed to maintain flexibility and mobility.
Nutrition is a prime consideration for Alzheimer’s patients, who often forget to eat or stay hydrated, lose interest in cooking, or dr. ed analyzed data may not make an effort to eat a balanced diet. Your physical therapist can provide recommendations for specific foods and dietary and nutritional supplements that offer convenience and the essential nutrients needed.
Alzheimer’s patients may not be able to communicate effectively, but they often enjoy looking at old photos, listening to music and being read to. Your physical therapist can provide suggestions for connecting with a loved one that’s been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
There’s no cure or preventative for Alzheimer’s disease, but your physical therapist can improve the ability to function, remain physically healthy and stay mobile. Your physical therapist will help you or your loved one maintain quality of life at every stage of the disease.