When a loved one is struck with dementia, you want them to receive the best medication and care possible to help them combat the condition.
Fighting dementia, however, is no easy task. For many, it involves entering a form of dementia care, which often entails taking a number of medications multiple times a day, which can prove difficult for some.
Due to this difficulty, many researchers have over the years looked into other, less invasive ways of combating dementia. These methods aim to help alleviate the symptoms of the condition without the use of continuous medication.
Instead, they focus on helpful techniques that can be incorporated into everyday life.
Many alternative approaches to dementia have emerged over the years, but here at Dementia Caring, we have compiled a list of the top three.
1.) Music and Memory Therapy
There is already an extensive amount of research on the positive effects that music can have on our mind and body.
However, prior to 1985, little to no research had been done to see if music could have a positive effect in the same way, but with people suffering from dementia.
While some research into music and memory therapy emerged prior to the 21st century, it wasn’t until after this point that this field of research became more popular as a result of further studies that noted the advantageous effects.
As the name implies, this specific type of therapy involves using music, typically music that patients would have listened to in the past, as a way to trigger old memories that may be associated with specific songs.
Of the numerous studies done over the years, many conclude that this form of therapy can help quell the symptoms of dementia, such as anxiety and depression, as well as encourage communication and a greater sense of well-being.
2.) Laughter as a Natural Medicine
They say laughter is the best medicine, but some researchers have put this claim to the test and found there may be some truth in those words after all.
Researchers from La Trobe University studied a number of sessions with dementia patients, where activities such as acting, chanting and clapping were all accompanied with laughter that was encouraged throughout.
This technique, referred to as ‘laughter yoga’, was found to improve the mood of the patients, as well as lower their blood pressure and increase their levels of happiness.
While the program has seen some implementation across dementia day centers and dementia day care services, it has yet to be fully incorporated into the care industry as a whole.
Regardless, the evidence does suggest that a little laughter every day can help those afflicted with dementia.
3.) Visual Diaries
Most of us like to keep family albums to help remind us of happy times from the past, so why can’t a specialised album for dementia patients help do the same?
Referred to as ‘visual diaries’, these diaries are used as a prompt to remind people of events from their past.
This is done with photos included in the diary, as well as with objects such as letters, postcards and any other important memorabilia.
Research into the effects of these diaries often reports an increased level of self-esteem in individuals, as well as a greater ability to retain and recall memory.
Want to find out more?
If you want to find out more about any of these approaches to treating dementia, get in contact with our team at Dementia Caring today. Our staff would be happy to talk to you more about what these treatments entail and how to access them.