Managing medications with the onset of dementia or Alzheimer’s is particularly challenging. If you forget to take your medicine, you risk health problems that significantly impair your life. If you take too many or double your dose, you could be facing a potentially life-threatening issue.
On top of that, many medications help certain lifestyle diseases that also benefit your brain health. Regularly taking those medications can offset your risk of dementia and may even help slow down the forgetful events.
Why Medication Habits Keep Your Brain Healthy
High blood pressure
High blood pressure has a few different causes; many of them can influence your memory health. Reducing your salt intake is one way to reduce high blood pressure, but you also have to manage the hardening of your arteries and the actual pressure going through your veins.
It’s that pressure and the inability of your veins and arteries to flex that causes health issues in your brain. On top of the risk of stroke or aneurysm, high blood pressure in the brain does not allow enough oxygen or nutrients to reach vital sections, and that can leave your brain starving. Additionally, toxins and waste products can build up and not have the cleansing it requires.
Alzheimer’s disease is sometimes referred to as Type 3 Diabetes. Certain studies have shown that the same damage done to the nerves, to the eyes and extremities that people with diabetes experience happens to memory neurons in the brain. The stripping of the protective myelin sheath allows the nerves to become sensitive and eventually unresponsive to proper stimulus.
It’s called diabetic neuropathy in the extremities, and diabetic blindness in the eyes. Now, it’s also diabetic memory loss or diabetic onset dementia in some cases.
Several health conditions require people to have increased oxygen intake. Lung problems, especially lung cancer, can affect your ability to breathe and take in enough oxygen. Other issues, such as anemia, COPD, asthma, and numerous others, can be improved with the use of oxygen therapy.
But, if you can’t remember why you’re using the oxygen or that you need to use it at all, you won’t. And that means your brain is deprived of oxygen.
5 Tips for Remembering Your Medication with Dementia
Various methods can help you remember and manage your medications. The key is to commit to using these methods and getting the help you need to be able to implement them.
Tip 1: Set An Alarm
An alarm that goes off to remind you of your medication can be an easy way to know what medication you need to take when. Most cell phones and many alarm clocks have multiple alarm functions that work. That way, you’re 8:00 AM high blood pressure pills can be taken at 8:00 AM.
Tip 2: Prepare Your Medications Every Week
The 7-Day plastic pill case helps parcel out what medications you take evenly. By putting your pills in a specific slot and marking the time it needs to be taken, you can have a visual idea of what medications you need to take when. And, it’ll help tell you when you forgot one.
Tip 3: Attach Taking Your Medication To Another Activity
If you only need one or two medications, especially if those medications are only once or twice a day, attaching the habit of taking your medication with another activity, like brushing your teeth, can increase your chances of taking the medication.
Tip 4: Simplify Your Medication
Just because it’s a medication you’ve been taking for a long time, doesn’t mean it’s the only one available. In many cases, a different prescription might only need taken twice a day rather than three times a day. Or, another type of medication might be able to combine two pills into one. You should ask both your doctor and pharmacist if there are alternatives.
Tip 5: Get Help
Visiting nurses, nursing aides, and companion services exist for the very reason of helping somebody manage their daily life task. These people can help remind you to take your medications on a particular schedule and make sure of your next doses for the evening. These companion services are a little bit more expensive, they are far less costly than dementia care facilities. We recommend you reading this article to get a better idea of the cost value.
Here’s the thing:
If you find you need help with medication, starting on these couple of tips can help move you towards feeling more secure in your home and take the pressure off your loved ones.
If you need more help, we have various resources and counselors that can talk to you to help you formulate a personalized plan so you can stay in your home as long as possible and retain your Independence and dignity.