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Holistic Options for Slowing Symptoms

In addition to traditional medicine, there are many natural supplements that are believed to help slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease.

  • Vitamin E - Since this has high antioxidant properties, it's reduces the amount of free radicals in the body, which in turn should help prevent cell degeneration and stimulate cell repair.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids - This supplement may be one of the most powerful tools out there for fighting Alzheimer's.The DHA's in Omega-3s help fight the buildup of plaques in the brain, which is a major part of what causes Alzheimer's disease. Omega-3 fatty acids can be obtained either through fatty fish such as salmon, herring or tuna, or through supplements in pill form - both are equally beneficial.
  • Ginkgo biloba - Similar to vitamin E, Ginkgo has been used for centuries for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
  • Phosphatidylserine - helps repair cell walls and improves cell function.It may aid not only in battling dementia and Alzheimer's, but depression in the elderly as well.
  • Huperzine A: A natural supplement derived from a form of moss, it has the same active properties as some of the prescription drugs for Alzheimer's that are on the market.  It is believed to protect neurons in the brain from atrophy and degeneration.
  • Overall diet: a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables, fish, and nuts is believed to have a positive effect on Alzheimer's patients (not to mention the rest of us). Limiting red meat may have a beneficial effect, as well.

Certain activities will prove vital in helping your loved one retain memory, have a sense of well-being, and stave off the effects of the disease. Consider how these social tools might help:

  • Music therapy - Play peaceful music from a time when your loved one was young.Look at or go to and search music by decade.
  • Time with family and friends - Socializing is one of the best ways to fight back against Alzheimer's, not to mention a powerful tool to help your loved one feel important, loved, respected, and worthwhile.
  • Brain-building puzzles, such as Sudoku and Crosswords - Studies show that doing word or number puzzles can help fight back against dementia. Check out
  • Massage therapy - A massage doesn't need to come from a professional masseur, because the simple touch of a loved one can help calm and soothe an agitated loved one. Just get out some nice lotion, and give your loved one a hand, arm, leg or foot massage.
  • Photo and scrapbooks - Go through scrapbooks or photo books with your loved one, pointing out family members.Try not to put them on the spot, asking what they remember, but instead just point at pictures and reminisce together.
  • Pet therapy - Pets make just about everybody happy!Pet therapy is being used more and more with the elderly to promote well-being.
  • Exercise - Take a walk together and look at the falling leaves or the blooming flowers, as the case may be.

Be sure to talk to your doctor before you and your loved one make any major changes in his routine, especially involving supplements, because they may interfere with any prescriptions that your loved one is taking. While the effects of these supplements have not been scientifically proven, many people believe they are helpful in lessening the effects of this disease.If you're involved in a support group, you may want to bring up the topic and see if others have noticed a difference after applying these techniques.

Make Life Better Today

Grab a book of Sudoku puzzles while you're at the store!

Make Life Better This Week

Make an appointment with your doctor to talk about these supplements, and whether they might be ok to add into your diet.

Make Life Better This Month

If you don't have a dog at home, call a friend who has a calm, sweet dog and see if you can come visit once a week, or if they would be willing to bring the dog over to visit with your loved one. You may want to talk to your neighbors with pets - they're the most convenient!