Valuable Therapies and Lifestyle Changes for Those Living with Dementia

Dementia is a collection of symptoms affecting people’s decision-making, thinking, and memory. Many people living with dementia also experience anxiety and depression. As a result, everyday living can often be overwhelming.

Sadly, there is no cure for dementia. Those who receive a diagnosis will experience more frequent and severe symptoms over time. However, that doesn’t mean many dementia-related symptoms can’t be managed. Many therapies and lifestyle changes can improve mood, symptoms, and quality of life.

Reminiscence Therapy (RT)

Reminiscence therapy involves discussing the past. People with dementia may find it helpful to talk about photos, events, and possessions. Talking about the past lets people focus on their skills rather than their diagnosis.

According to studies, reminiscence therapy has many potential benefits. Some people might enjoy improved mental functions, mood, quality of life, and communication abilities. That’s why many memory care communities incorporate memories and memory-based activities into their daily programming.

Talk Therapy

Receiving a diagnosis of dementia can be overwhelming. During those early days, symptoms can be minor, and people can have a nearly complete understanding of what dementia can mean for them in the future.

As overwhelming as a dementia diagnosis can be, talk therapy can sometimes be helpful. One study found that 63% of people engaged in talk therapy enjoyed reduced depression and anxiety. Another 40% also recovered from their depression and anxiety after talk therapy.

Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy in a dementia setting involves engaging in activities that have been simplified in distraction-free and stress-free environments. When environments have been adjusted and tasks simplified, people living with dementia find it easier to participate in and enjoy them.

That’s why senior living communities prioritize easy and straightforward activities like painting, gardening, and crafts. These tasks can improve abilities while enhancing quality of life at the same time.

Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (CST)

Dementia affects everyday skills that the average person can take for granted, like communication, problem-solving, and memory. Cognitive stimulation therapy in a controlled environment can be helpful for many people living with dementia.

CST can be achieved through many fun activities, such as word games, puzzles, physical games, and practical tasks like gardening. Even discussing topics of interest and playing number games are a form of cognitive stimulation therapy. While this therapy type wasn’t found to improve anxiety, depression, or mood, it had the potential to improve short-term memory and mental functions.

Hand Massages

Hand massages are standard offerings in senior living communities. While the relaxation effect is undoubtedly reason enough to receive hand massages, they may also have other benefits for people living with dementia. Some studies have found that hand massages on people living with dementia have the potential to reduce agitation and stress.

Reality Orientation Training

Visit some of the best memory care communities, and you’ll see that current events are a huge part of their offerings. Every day, residents get to enjoy activities focused on what’s happening in the world and their surroundings. Daily activities also often revolve around times, dates, seasons, daily routines, and memories.

These activities are known as reality orientation training and can sometimes be helpful for people living with mild to moderate dementia. Some studies have found that such training sessions can improve mental abilities.

Learn More About Managing Dementia at Ellery Arbor Memory Care

It’s only natural to be overwhelmed when you or a loved one receives a dementia diagnosis. However, you have more support and help than you think. Contact Ellery Arbor Memory Care today to learn more about living arrangements and therapy options to support you and your family through this challenging time.

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