All of cranberry_bear's Comments + Replies

Ah yes it's a separate question when we have someone who does not yet suffer from dementia but is at risk and who can plausibly take some actions to reduce the risk / delay the onset of dementia. I am definitely no expert on this but I would assume promoting better physical and psychological health reduces dementia risk alongside other bad side-effects of aging. The psychological part is key. I think if you know someone at risk of dementia, making sure they have a supportive family and/or friends and they don't feel lonely goes a long way to promoting better psychological health and reducing dementia risk, even if, for example, their diet and exercise regime is not optimal. 

I have heard this recommended by others but never looked into the research. Anecdotally I have found that very elderly patients/people with dementia react positively to colorful things. However, a casual googling of this revealed that "colorful stuff for dementia patients" is more of a "folk wisdom" being passed around as opposed to something with a rigorous backing (there are articles about the phenomenon like this: https://www.enablingenvironments.com.au/colour-perception-and-contrast.html). My theory of why it might be good is a) more sensory stimulatio... (read more)

Dementia patients become increasingly dependent on their caregivers, and as a caregiver, it isn't a great strategy to rely on giving the dementia patient advice and trying to convince them of something. Instead, you can model your role as trying to maximize the happiness of the patient's remaining lifespan, primarily through interventions that don't rely on the patient being agent-y. Some things that I have done for relatives with dementia that seem net positive:

  • Making sure there is always accessible water in the rooms they hang out in so they are less lik
... (read more)
1Dirichlet-to-Neumann2y
This is a great answer, thank you !
1JohannWolfgang2y
Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment! Specific pieces of advice like these are exactly what I am looking for. One question: what is the rationale behind the brightly colored items?
2PeterMcCluskey2y
I agree with most of this advice. I probably couldn't do any better than that. But it seems unlikely to be the best that's possible. Dementia can probably be stopped in early stages if there's a way to persuade the patient to make larger lifestyle changes. It's frustrating that such persuasion is unusually hard.

I often use the following way of explaining time estimates. "If I was to do thing X and not stumble across any issues I haven't accounted for / unknown unknowns / circumstances don't change, it will take me about 2 weeks" followed by "in my experience, most of the time issues do come up, therefore a more conservative estimate is on the order of magnitude of months, not weeks." This way I can calibrate with others who are estimating "how long does this take if everything goes completely smoothly" while also bringing up how unrealistic this is.