What is The Best Therapy for Dementia Patients

What is The Best Therapy for Dementia Patients

July 01, 2021

Written by David Lemieux

Fact checked by The Brain Blog Team

 

A key to battling dementia is talk- or activity-based therapy.

 

After a dementia diagnosis, you or your loved one may be considering medications and various treatment options. Finding a good doctor is one key to managing dementia. Finding the best therapy for your unique needs is another. Every person is different, and there are a wide variety of options to explore.

Let's Talk About Talk Therapy

Individual psychotherapy can be a proactive way to process emotions and concerns that will inevitably arise after a dementia diagnosis. Look for a therapist who has experience working with clients that have cognitive loss from dementia. 

 If connecting in a group environment might be helpful, try a support group for persons with dementia and groups for family caregivers. The Alzheimer's Association is a great resource to find local support groups that meet either virtually or in person.

Additional Talk-Based Options

Reminiscence therapy can be done individually or in a group. For this method, the person living with dementia looks back on their life to find meaning, which is particularly helpful when making new memories might be difficult. It can be made even more therapeutic by reframing negative memories to be more positive.  

 Validation therapy helps some advanced dementia patients. It acknowledges the individual with empathy and encourages them to work through unresolved issues in their life. Yet another is reality orientation therapy that connects a person with their environment through prompts like clocks, a daily calendar, talking about current events, and a daily newspaper.

Occupational Therapy for People Living with Dementia

A practical tool for managing all stages of dementia is occupational therapy. This intervention can help a person continue to perform meaningful tasks and feel more independent while accurately gauging any safety issues. In addition, occupational therapy can help a person living with dementia better handle activities of daily living like eating and moving. It can be helpful for dementia patients living on their own or for those in assisted living.

Physical Therapy

Exercise and physical activity has widely known health benefits, and physical therapy can prevent injuries for persons living independently who may be at higher risk of falling. In addition, outpatient or inpatient physical therapy can improve coordination, flexibility, muscle strength, and balance to move safely. It can also reduce hospitalization risk and may be able to slow functional decline.

Creative and Sensory Therapy

Music therapy has been used clinically since it was initially used to treat US military service members recovering in Army hospitals in 1945. It is an excellent way to improve memory for dementia patients, too. Music therapy can provide predictability, grounding, and comfort, and it can improve communication. We can all relate to our own experiences when music awakens long-forgotten memories, inspires a sense of peace, and creates joy.

 

Similarly, art therapy has been practiced and studied for over 50 years. Art therapy is a personalized tool for releasing thoughts and feelings that the patient might not express otherwise. As a result, communicating through art can improve emotional well-being, attention, and quality of life while at the same time helping to slow cognitive decline. 

Other types of sensory stimulation can harness creativity in a dementia patient and prevent negative behaviors. Sensory stimulation includes aromatherapy, reflexology, light therapy, pet or doll therapy, and massage.

 

Consider the Unique Needs Of People Living With Dementia

With so many options, the best therapy for someone living with dementia is what fits that person’s unique needs. The most benefits occur when the focus is on being engaged in a particular therapeutic activity rather than on the outcome.

Brain Health Supplementation

Another therapy to consider is nutritional supplementation for brain health. Over 20 years of scientific research points to nutrition as the answer to long-term brain health, suggesting that Alzheimer's disease may be a nutrient-deficiency disease. The carotenoids Lutein,  Zeaxanthin and Meso-Zeaxanthin and omega-3s DHA and EPA have been identified as supporting brain health and protecting the brain from degeneration. The supplement Memory Health® has been proven clinical trials to correct this deficiency, delivering these key nutrients directly to the brain.

The Gold Standard of Brain Supplementation

Memory Health. Clinically Proven as published in Journal of Alzheimer's Disease

Memory Health® was tested and proven in double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials, becoming the first supplement to receive a patent for the prevention and treatment of neurodegenerative disease, specifically Alzheimer's and dementia. It has been clinically proven to improve cognitive functions and memory.  Other tested benefits include improvement in sight, focus, clarity, and mood.

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