In addition to traditional Alzheimer’s treatments, many non-medical therapies help with Dementia. They have been shown to reduce anxiety, stress and depression. Family members and home care nurses often indicate the non-medical therapies help calm Dementia patients. If you have a loved one with Dementia, you may want to consider utilizing one of the following.
Music can change the mood of the person listening. Playing an upbeat song can increase the energy level of those listening. A quieter, slower song may be helpful for relaxation.
Music is also often linked to memories. Therefore, people with Dementia find music a way to reminisce.
In addition, music is a therapy that has a chance of activating neurological pathways because two different parts of the brain are required to process music. One part processes the language of the songs, and another part the musical notes. In some cases, people who haven’t been able to speak can sing along with a song after music therapy.
Pet therapy has been shown to boost self-esteem. Pet therapy should only be used with loved ones who have Dementia that enjoy being around pets. Also, it is important to pick the correct pet. One that is too energetic may cause the loved one to trip and fall. Generally, a small, calm cat or dog works well. Pets have been shown to reduce agitation, lower blood pressure and even increase the appetite of people with Dementia.
Often, those with Dementia lose the ability to communicate. They can’t remember the words. Without the ability to hold a conversation, they may struggle to express feelings. Art is an alternative method to accomplish that. Art stimulates the senses and can trigger dormant memories. Case studies exist in which people with Dementia create a portrait of a loved one even though they are no longer able to communicate that person’s name verbally. In some cases, the person with Dementia may have lost many other capabilities, but are still able to create quality art.
Continuing religious activities, for a person that enjoyed them in the past, is often helpful. They are able to participate socially and continue to have a connection to others.
Just as music can bring back memories, smells can as well. Nature smells can remind a loved one of the different seasons.
Non-medical therapies have been shown to improve the happiness of people with Dementia. They can be helpful with behavior issues as they can reduce agitation. Caring for a loved one with Dementia is difficult. Often families find the help of a Home Care Aide is beneficial both for the loved one and for the caregiver. To learn more, contact us.