10 Ways to Treat Depression in Alzheimer’s Patients Without Adding Medications
Alzheimer’s disease is a life-changing diagnosis, and those suffering from the disease are often prone to depression. However, treating depression among Alzheimer’s patients can be difficult, as they are likely already taking a long list of medications. Adding one more may become too much, or it may not interact well with the other meds that your loved one has been prescribed. Fortunately, there are ways to combat depression that don’t involve taking more drugs. Here are some ways to treat depression in Alzheimer’s patients without prescription medicine.
10. Find a Support GroupA support group can help your loved one with Alzheimer’s work through their mental state, especially during the early stages when they may be inclined to seek help or help others like them. Counseling or therapy may also be beneficial and provide another outlet for your loved one to express how they feel.
9. Acknowledge All EmotionsIt’s important to acknowledge how your loved one is feeling, which means identifying the good emotions and the bad. Don’t downplay or dismiss depression, sadness, and frustration. Let your loved one know that it’s OK to feel down, but also express hope that things will improve.
8. Celebrate the Little ThingsRecognize the good things that happen, whether they’re big or small. Your loved one’s accomplishments are a big deal; celebrate those successes and occasions.
7. Allow ContributionsFind ways to allow your loved one to contribute to the household. This might be having them help with setting the table or with folding towels. Make sure to recognize their contributions.
6. Give Reassurance and LoveConsistently reassure your loved one that you love them. Let them know that they’re a valued family member. Show appreciation and gratitude for past and present contributions. Bring out the old family movies or photo albums, and allow those pictures to guide your expressions of appreciation.
5. Enjoy the OutdoorsHelp your loved one with Alzheimer’s spend time outside. The sun not only provides vital vitamin D, but nature can help reduce stress. Even a few minutes outside may help boost their spirits.
4. ExerciseExercise and physical activity can help combat cognitive decline. Go on a walk with your loved one, even if it’s just around the yard. Mornings are particularly good times to get exercises in.
3. Provide a Balanced DietHaving a healthy, balanced diet can help improve the cognitive health of those with Alzheimer’s and also help combat behavioral symptoms. Make sure your loved one is getting all of their vitamins, minerals, and nutrients.
2. Establish a RoutineDeveloping a consistent, daily routine can help boost your loved one’s mood and keep them from getting agitated. Having a plan and sticking to it can pay off both for them and their caregiver.
1. Incorporate Favorite Activities
People with Alzheimer’s still have fun things they like to do. Make a list of those activities and then schedule times for your loved one to do them more regularly. They deserve all the fun they can handle.
Living with Alzheimer’s isn’t easy, but it is important to maintain hope for your loved one to boost their spirits whenever they need it most. Some simple treatment options could help do the trick. However, if you notice your loved one is having suicidal thoughts, engaging in self-harm, or is attempting to harm others, get professional assistance as soon as possible.