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People with Alzheimers benefit from activities

May 15, 2008
Alzheimer's is one disease that people dread to be diagnosed with. Who can blame them?

Alzheimers affects not only one area or one system but all body systems. It is one of the most debilitating diseases known to man. Alzheimers is a progressive disease. Gradually the various systems of the body may be affected one or more at a time.

The effects become wide-ranged as Alzheimer's disease progresses.

Alzheimers is characterized by the progressive loss of memory that may lead to inattention and inability to focus at a task, language problems and behavioral changes. Under the category of Dementia, Alzhiemer's disease is perhaps the best-known disorder that affects the mental processes.

Patients with Alzheimer's disease for instance may initially find themselves at a loss for words or unable to remember some bits of facts that happened the day before. But as the days progress, they will find themselves starting to forget important things like their addresses, their age and sometimes even their names.

Patients who are in the later stages of Alzheimer's will start to forget how to do routine things like brushing their teeth, taking a bath or using their utensils. Some may not speak altogether because they will often forget the words that they should be using or saying. Some will also behave differently, brought on by the frustration of not being able to do the things that they used to do. Often times, patients at the later stages will become dependents, acting like children who do not know what to do with themselves.

Although there are medicines that can slow down the progress of the disease especially if discovered early on, there is no solution to the problem. Once it settles into the system, it would be there for life and there is no chance of it ever disappearing. Like medicines, there are activities that according to scientists can slow down the progression. Below are just some of them:

Reading

Something as simple as reading the newspaper everyday and keeping your mind informed with the latest news is already something that can prevent the disease from settling in. Just make it a point to use your brain. Be an analytical reader and raise questions and do not just absorb the texts and then forget about it. Being an active reader and allowing your imagination free reign will go a long way for exercising the brain. In fact, studies have shown that people who love to read are less likely to be diagnosed with Alzheimer's.

Answer puzzles

Another mental exercise that people with Alzheimer's do to help slow down the process is to answer puzzles such as word hunts, cross words and even Sudoku. The more that you use your brain, the better will be your prognosis. Answering word games will also make sure that you practice words and increase your vocabulary, making it less likely for you to forget words and language.

Become a student

Creative tasks such as arts and crafts is another way to tap into the brain's resources without tiring them out. Learning a new thing also gives people with Alzheimers the sense of purpose that they have lost since they were diagnosed with the disease. Being old does not mean that you cannot learn. Patients with Alzheimer's should make it a point to learn something new. This will exercise their brains.
About the Author
Alex Shepps is a professional journalist. To learn more look at activities for alzheimers patients at First Stop Alzheimers
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