Jul 13, 2015 by Anonymous
Reduced energy, lack of interest in favorite activities, and withdrawal are all recognized as early symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. They are also issues that worsen throughout the course of the disease. You may recognize these as also being symptoms of depression, which Alzheimer’s patients are prone to, though it can be difficult to diagnose with so many overlapping symptoms. Low energy is not only a symptom of Alzheimer’s disease, it is also an element that can cause the disease to progress at a faster rate.
Exercise provides significant benefits to all, but none more so than Alzheimer’s sufferers. For these seniors, exercise improves physical health and increases brain activity that may help slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. When low energy plagues a person, it can be difficult to take on physical exercise. At times like this, a family member or caregiver provides essential encouragement, even participating alongside their loved one, in order to help increase energy and well-being of the Alzheimer patient.
Researchers believe that the vital link between Alzheimer’s disease and energy loss is found in our bodies’ mitochondria. This cell component is responsible for energy regulation and production. In Alzheimer’s patients, the protein clusters that are the trademark of the disease seem to be responsible for blocking the communication and effectiveness of mitochondria. In a cyclical pattern energy is reduced, the disease worsens, and energy is further reduced. Only the help of a dedicated caregiver can hope to slow this cycle. A person suffering from Alzheimer’s simply does not have the required energy or state of mind to break free on their own.
Problems sleeping also can have a detrimental effect on seniors’ energy level and brain function. It is common for Alzheimer’s patients to experience a phenomenon known as sundowning. Sleepiness during the day followed by restless nights leave them continuously short of rest and low on energy. To minimize this problem, help create an optimal sleeping environment for your loved one. Feel free to adjust sleeping times to suit their body’s needs. If a 7pm bedtime and 5am wakeup provides a good night’s rest, then there is no need to fight it.
Helping seniors with Alzheimer’s stay as active as possible and get proper sleep can greatly increase their quality of life. Both physical and mental health are improved, making it possible to slow the progression of brain degeneration and worsening of Alzheimer’s disease symptoms.