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Strategies for Dealing with Alzheimer's Disease

"The only way you can get through the typical day is to make a decision about the strategies of fighting."

Greg O'Brien


In Alzheimer's there is no typical day, and that's part of the disease—you never know who's going to show up. So the only way you can get through the typical day is to make a decision about the strategies of fighting.

There are all sorts of strategies in fighting this disease, and we've talked a lot about them. Some, like exercise, the body, the brain, eating, sleep, you can do it yourself. It's important, first and foremost, to get exercise. You got to exercise your body and your brain every day. That's key.

I go to the gym every day. Work out your mind and work out your body. It's like rebooting your brain.

I journal every day about what's happening so I don't forget things. I have like 6,000 pages, equivalent of pages, in my laptop right now of notes. The other thing that they talk about is sleep. Now, you need 7 hours of sleep, and it's diet. The Mediterranean diet is considered an excellent diet, but you need to watch your diet.

Having a routine probably helps in keeping my focus on the here and now. The single hardest thing about having a person with Alzheimer's is the future, because we really, we just go day to day. My support system is my family, my friends, my church. I take care of myself, go to the gym. I love to walk. I go to Bible study, which is a wonderful support system. There’s 12 of us. They’re like my therapists, and the other part is getting involved in all the different organizations that help me. That's been a huge—sometimes I tease. I said my social life now is with Alzheimer's people, but we have a great time, and they're wonderful people, and I have found tremendous support in knowing people who have a spouse who has Alzheimer's, and that is tremendous and desperately needed.

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