For a person with Alzheimer’s, exercising, eating a healthy diet, and staying socially engaged are all good habits. Even though studies have shown that those lifestyle factors won’t impact the outcomes for those with Alzheimer’s or dementia, there’s a benefit for families, says Dr. Noble. “It is not just about the person with dementia, but the whole family unit,” he says. “It’s important to get out and do something, enjoy each other, and get some normalcy into one’s day-to-day life. It can be very basic things, like a walk in the park or a meal together, but really it’s about togetherness.”
Dr. Noble co-founded a nonprofit called Arts & Minds that offers patients with dementia opportunities to go to museums and do art classes with their care partners. The experience allows families to communicate with each other in different ways and carry those experiences with them. “The idea is that if caregivers had a positive experience at the museum that day, maybe they can apply something they saw that day to another circumstance at home, or be better able to cope with some of the more challenging moments,” says Dr. Noble.