Dementia is a chronic condition that worsens with time. NYU Langone’s dementia specialists offer a variety of support programs for people with any type of dementia and their families.
NYU Langone provides long-term, team-based care to address depression, nutrition, behavioral changes, and other issues that arise with dementia. Most people visit the care team every few months, depending on the severity of dementia symptoms. A person whose symptoms appear to be stable with medication, for example, may follow up with the doctor every two or three months for fine-tuning of medications and dosages.
More follow-up visits may be needed as dementia progresses. NYU Langone specialists can help people with dementia and their family members find community programs and provide information on housing options, legal planning, and safety issues.
If you’re caring for a person with dementia, it’s important that you receive information and support as the disease progresses. NYU Langone psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses, and social workers can help family members and caregivers to better handle the day-to-day care, changes in family dynamics, and decisions that need to be made about long-term care.
NYU Langone specialists at the Pearl I. Barlow Center for Memory Evaluation and Treatment may recommend what’s known as cognitive rehabilitation for those with mild memory loss and other early symptoms of dementia. Although most types of dementia can’t be cured, cognitive rehabilitation may help a person in early dementia to maintain independence and preserve thinking and motor skills for as long as possible.
A cognitive rehabilitation program may involve exercises and games to improve memory and concentration, such as computer programs, workbooks, and board games. NYU Langone specialists also teach “compensatory strategies,” such as taking notes and making structured schedules, which can help as memory falters.
People with mild dementia symptoms are encouraged to meet with NYU Langone neurologists to explore cognitive rehabilitation options.
Psychotherapy, or “talk” therapy, involves talking with a mental health professional to address the challenges of living with dementia—for example, completing everyday tasks, accepting changes in abilities, and adopting new coping skills. Psychotherapy can take place one-on-one or involve family members or caregivers.
NYU Langone offers several types of psychotherapy. Individual psychotherapy can help a person with early memory loss regain confidence through the support of a counselor. Couples counseling can help a caregiving partner learn coping techniques, understand the nature of the condition, and find ways to make life as enjoyable as possible.
People with early dementia may also find group psychotherapy helpful for sharing concerns and successes with peers. Studies suggest therapy groups may alleviate depression and social isolation, enhance coping skills, augment self-esteem, and stimulate the mind.
People with dementia or memory problems may benefit from participating in clinical trials. NYU Langone’s Center for Cognitive Neurology offers many clinical trials.
During a clinical trial, new medications, medical devices, or other treatments are evaluated in strict, scientifically controlled settings. These studies are required for regulatory approval of new therapies. NYU Langone doctors maintain an active research program dedicated to investigating new approaches that could prove helpful in diagnosing and treating dementia.
Our experts can help guide you through the enrollment process if a clinical trial is a good option for you.
People with dementia and their relatives or caregivers may require help accessing government benefits like home care services and disability insurance, applying for Medicaid, or finding counseling. NYU Langone doctors can connect people with knowledgeable social workers that can address these needs.
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