The Alzheimer’s medication, Leqembi, recently received full approval from the Food and Drug Administration despite ongoing discussions regarding its safety, affordability and availability.
It is the first time a drug designed to decelerate the disease’s progression has obtained complete regulatory approval. Prior approved medications have solely focused on managing the symptoms of the disease.
While the update carries a mix of optimism and caution, we must remember that small, but not complete, progress is being made. The drug, designed to decelerate the disease’s progression, has successfully received full regulatory approval. It shows promising results in potentially slowing the symptoms, but it does not directly treat or halt the root cause. It has demonstrated the potential to decelerate disease progression by approximately five months. This might bring a glimmer of hope for those grappling with dementia symptoms. However, like many medications, it comes with its share of notable side effects. This underlines the complex nature of medical advancements. We continue to rely on the tireless efforts of our scientific community in their pursuit of a comprehensive solution that includes both a cure and preventive measures. Let’s keep faith in the process and look forward to more promising discoveries in the future.
In the meantime, we need to continue to strive to make the world more Dementia Aware, so we all understand how to best communicate and care for those with dementia symptoms. By fully understanding what dementia symptoms and Alzheimer’s are, we can help those who need our assistance, while we wait for a full cure and prevention method from the science community.
Regardless of whether you’re a professional caregiver tending to numerous individuals, a family member providing care for a loved one, or a community member frequently interacting with people experiencing memory impairment, becoming Dementia Aware is one of the most impactful steps you can take.
But what does it imply?
Being Dementia Aware requires an openness to and understanding of the daily challenges faced by individuals with dementia symptoms. Importantly, it means recognizing that dementia currently can’t be “fixed.” This awareness paves the way for more meaningful exchanges with individuals dealing with dementia symptoms, enabling you as a caregiver to offer better support.
There are five key ways for caregivers to enhance their Dementia Awareness, aiding those with dementia symptoms to feel more secure, valued and safe.
- Firstly, anticipate their thinking; individuals with dementia symptoms often struggle to process the influx of information from their surroundings, which can lead to frustration and fear. By stepping in and doing the thinking for them, we can bridge these gaps.
- Secondly, abstain from asking questions. Processing and responding to questions can trigger anxiety for those with impaired cognitive abilities. Minimizing this source of stress can be as simple as refraining from asking questions when possible.
- Next, it’s important to judiciously select the information you share, considering what is truly necessary at any given time. Even actions we take for granted, such as coordinating body movements, require mental processing. By reducing extraneous information, you enable your loved one to concentrate on the task at hand.
- Also, make sure to use positive action statements, leading with the desired outcome and using encouraging language. Instead of asking, “Should we fold the laundry?”, you could suggest, “Let’s fold the laundry together,” and praise them for their help.
- Finally, joining them in their emotional journey is vital. This involves validating their feelings, even if they’re not shared by you. If they find something scary, that’s their reality, and demonstrating acceptance of their feelings can alleviate fear and uncertainty.