How to Live Well With Alzheimer’s Disease

There are several lifestyle changes that you and your loved one can make to help maintain overall well-being. By living a healthier life, you or your loved one can focus your energies on what is most important.


Did you know that exercise provides more than just physical benefits? In fact, it may provide mental and emotional benefits, like improving your or your loved one’s mood.

Suggestions for Exercising:

  • Find ways to make exercise fun and enjoyable
  • Find ways to fit exercise into your daily routine (start a daily walking routine or take the stairs when possible)
  • Make exercise a social activity by inviting friends to join
  • Keep track of your exercise progress
  • Find a suitable place (such as a backyard or public park)
  • Plan for 20-30 minutes of exercises that may raise your heart rate (brisk walking, swimming, water aerobics, dancing), 3-4 times a week
  • Try strength-building, balance, or stretching exercises once a week

If you’ve been recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or another dementia, regular exercise may help maintain overall physical fitness.  

Eating Healthy

A well-balanced, healthy diet can be an important pillar for healthy living.

Suggestions for Eating Healthy Food:

  • Eat more fruits and vegetables
  • Focus on lean protein, like fish
  • Choose foods with "healthy fats," such as olive oil, flaxseed, avocado, and nuts (walnuts, almonds, pecans)

If you’ve been recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or another dementia, then it’s possible that food may not taste as good due to the loss of the sense of taste and smell. However, it’s still important to keep eating a healthy diet for overall health benefits.

Working Out the Brain

Much like the rest of the body, your brain also needs routine workouts, or mental stimulation, to stay healthy.

Suggestions for Working Out the Brain:

  • Create a to-do list and memorize it
  • Play a new song and write down some of the lyrics
  • Draw a map from your home to the grocery store
  • Research a new topic
  • Change the way you do something, like stirring your coffee with your left hand if you are right-handed
  • Read a how-to book
  • Try a new hobby
  • Take a class at your local college or community center

If you’ve been recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or another dementia, then you may have noticed problems with memory loss or thinking. Although working out the brain may be more difficult than before, it’s important to keep the brain active.

Maintaining Relationships

Social interactions are essential to overall health because they may provide a sense of security and meaning.

Suggestions for Maintaining Relationships:

  • Make plans to visit friends and family
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for (and accept!) help from loved ones
  • Build a care team with the people you trust
  • Volunteer in the community or with a local organization
  • Find others who share similar hobbies
  • Plan regular walks with neighbors
  • Schedule activities ahead of time and use digital or written reminders to keep track of them

If you’ve been recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or another dementia, you may find it more difficult to remain socially active with family and friends. However, it’s important to keep up with your social activities to maintain personal connections.

Doctor Discussion Guide

Get tips and guidance for you or your loved one on how to get the conversation started with a doctor.