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There's a lot you can do to help someone you care about with Alzheimer's enjoy their day-to-day activities. Even though people with Alzheimer's may get frustrated or confused easily, try these steps to help them feel calm and safe.

1. Keep a Routine

People with Alzheimer's tend to prefer a familiar schedule and settings. Changes can upset or confuse them.

So if you need to take your relative or friend with Alzheimer's to the doctor, for example, leave a reminder note about the visit on the refrigerator or mark a large calendar in their home, says Linda Davis, PhD, RN.

Leaving notes is helpful, says the elder-care expert at Duke University, because people with Alzheimer's can often understand what they read when they can't understand spoken words.

Davis also suggests you leave notes around their home with directions such as, "This way to the bathroom." It will help keep their surroundings feeling familiar and comfortable.

2. Limit the Amount of Sound and Movement

People with Alzheimer's can be easily overwhelmed by crowds and noise, says Marsha Lewis, PhD, dean of the School of Nursing of the University at Buffalo.

Lewis suggests these strategies to keep distractions in check:

Avoid shopping in crowds. Instead of taking your friend to a busy mall, go to a small store. Or try shopping when stores aren't likely to be busy.

Gather in small groups. Even though your loved one may like to see the whole family at the holidays, he or she may get flustered by all the grandchildren. To make visits more enjoyable for everyone, have smaller groups of family members drop in at different times.

Keep the TV off during other activities. Someone with Alzheimer's may have a hard time telling the difference between what's going on in the room and what's happening on the television.

3. Find Things They Can Do

Spending time on familiar tasks and hobbies helps people with Alzheimer's feel productive and happy, Lewis says. Just be sure that they can safely handle the task.

You might need to take a different approach with a favorite activity, or do things together. For example:

  • Grandma, who loves to bake, might still be able to stir batter after you've measured out the ingredients. She could drop cookies onto a cool sheet while you handle getting the pans in and out of the hot oven.
  • Someone who gets confused by all of the settings on the washing machine may be able to take towels out of the dryer and fold them like a pro.
  • A lifelong carpenter who can't handle power tools may be happy sanding a block of wood.
For Moderate to Severe Alzheimer’s Disease

There is no evidence that NAMENDA XR prevents or slows the underlying disease process in patients with Alzheimer’s disease.

IMPORTANT RISK INFORMATION

Who should NOT take NAMENDA XR?
NAMENDA XR® (memantine hydrochloride) should not be taken by anyone who is allergic (hypersensitive) to memantine, the active substance in NAMENDA XR, or who has had a bad reaction to NAMENDA XR or any of its ingredients.

What should be discussed with the healthcare provider before taking NAMENDA XR?
Before starting NAMENDA XR, talk to the healthcare provider about all of the patient's past and present medical conditions, including:

  • Seizure disorders
  • Difficulty passing urine
  • Liver or kidney problems

If the patient is taking other medications (including those without a prescription), ask the healthcare provider if NAMENDA XR is right for the patient.

  • Certain medications, changes in diet, or medical conditions may affect the amount of NAMENDA XR in the body and possibly increase side effects.

What are the possible side effects of NAMENDA XR?
The most common side effects associated with NAMENDA XR treatment are headache, diarrhea, and dizziness. This is not a complete list of side effects.

Please see full Prescribing Information, including Patient Information.

© 2013 Forest Laboratories, Inc.
NXR13623

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