Research of prevention and causes of dementia are so important. I write about various studies a lot. In recent months, there have been studies that show practicing good health habits at an early age may help fight against dementia, or eating citrus fruit daily may do it, or even drinking wine.
This is all promising and exciting research, but it all comes with a caveat: the word “may.”
A new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicines revealed that various common interventions can’t prevent dementia. Researchers analyzed prescription medications, physical activity, cognitive training and over-the-counter vitamins and supplements and came to the conclusion that nothing can stop this disease.
While this isn’t exactly the most positive news to share, I feel it is an important item to tell my followers. That is because it is something I regularly discuss in my trainings. There is no way to stop or fix dementia, and the more that family members and caregivers grasp that, the more likely they will become “dementia aware.” Being dementia aware means managing expectations. Doing so can lead to meaningful moments, powerful connections and purposeful and fulfilling relationships between caregivers and patients, and patients and families.
Caregivers who are dementia aware look for the small daily accomplishments with their clients or loved ones. There is no way to stop or fix dementia, and seeking out small, day-to-day accomplishments for the emotional rewarding facets of the job can be rewarding. When this happens, it results in more support and readiness for the special needs that dementia patients – and their families – need.
Because dementia is unchangeable and degenerative, our interactions with patients must be tailored to meet the challenges that arise from this illness.
Understanding that there is no “cure” for dementia helps caregivers have a clear mind so they can properly care for those who need them.