On world Alzheimer’s day 2018 we recognise awareness of Alzheimer’s Disease have greatly improved over the last decade and now it is being identified much earlier on in life. This condition is alternatively known as Dementia and the most common cause of Alzheimer’s disease. Symptoms include constant loss of memory, issues with thought processing, problem solving and language. Unfortunately, the condition is progressive with numbers of cases rising in the UK but at the same time, new and innovative approaches are being developed for those in their later years who might otherwise in the past have been passed by.
Read about some of the current approaches and therapeutic innovations to improve life for those with this progressive condition. Please let us know if you think you can add to our list.
Doll Therapy: “The use of dolls can bring great benefit to some people with a diagnosis of dementia, particularly those in later stages. It involves making a doll available to the person to hold or to sit with.” – Dementia UK: https://www.dementiauk.org/the-use-of-dolls-in-dementia-care/
Jelly Treats: To combat dehydration. BBC News 20.09 Watch: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/health-45579586/jelly-treats-for-people-with-dementia?intlink_from_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.bbc.co.uk%2Fnews%2Ftopics%2Fcxw7vvy6dqmt%2Falzheimers&link_location=live-reporting-map
Tactile Stimulation: “This type of stimulation is concerned with awareness of texture and touch. sandpaper, plastic fruits, and pine cones can also be used in tactile stimulation.” SAMVEDNA http://samvednacare.com/blog/2018/04/09/5-types-of-multi-sensory-stimulation-for-dementia-patients/
Music Therapy: “Music accesses different parts of the brain than language, so music can be used to communicate or engage with someone who has been diagnosed with dementia, even if they no longer speak or respond to other people’s words. Playing soothing music to a person may inspire an emotional reaction in them. Playing music that meant something to them, such as a favourite song, a piece of music from their wedding, or a tune they used to sing to their children, can tap into powerful memories and emotions.” – Dementia UK: https://www.dementiauk.org/music-therapy/
Talking Therapy: “Talking therapies encourage people to talk about their thoughts and feelings, and how these affect their mood and behaviours. They are delivered by a professional, such as a counsellor, clinical or counselling psychologist, psychotherapist, psychiatrist or nurse. Each will have been trained in the respective approach and have a recognised qualification that is monitored by their professional body or the Health and Care Professions Council.” – Alzheimer’s UK: https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/about-dementia/treatments/talking-therapies
Art Therapy: When working with people who have dementia, it is far more productive to communicate using emotional and creative centres rather than logic and memory centres. This is why art therapy for Alzheimer’s is such an effective means of improving quality of life. Painting and drawing, even sculpting, are common hobbies. All are excellent ways to relax, but creating art is more than just a recreational pastime. Art provides a way to reach inside ourselves, to put on paper or some other medium.” – Best Alzheimer’s Products: https://best-alzheimers-products.com/alternative-therapy-for-alzheimers/art-therapy-for-alzheimers
Toddlers and Early Years: “In a bold new experiment, the first of its kind in the UK, a group of toddlers head to a dementia day-care centre to share three days of time and activities with adults in their 70s and 80s. Overseen by expert psychologists from Bangor University, north Wales, this ambitious project tests if children might be the secret weapon in helping fight the sometimes crippling effects of dementia.” – BBC News 23.06: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0b3kk1h
Photographic Treatment: “Photographic Treatment was conducted in collaboration with neurologists, gerontologists and psychologists to provide an image-based therapeutic tool for dementia patients. Improve the quality of life of elderly people with dementia by staging “photo interventions.” They’re individual or group sessions that focus conversations on images she curated over the span of three years.” – CNN 20.08: https://edition.cnn.com/2018/08/20/health/photographic-treatment-dementia-photos/index.html