It is important to keep in mind that a patient with Alzheimer’s disease will experience symptoms such as cognitive difficulties and behavioral issues. However, Alzheimers therapy can help the patient to deal with these difficulties. Some of the most common treatments that are recommended to help patients with the condition are cognitive rehabilitation, occupational therapy, and palliative care. All of these treatments are beneficial in helping a patient maintain his or her quality of life.
Music as part of Alzheimers therapy may seem a little odd. However, it is important to remember that music is actually a calming activity that can reduce agitation in the body. Similarly, music can be a good way to refocus a person’s attention. Moreover, if the song has a positive emotional meaning to the patient, it can help to establish an emotional connection.
Music can also be a fun way to connect with someone with dementia. For example, a music therapist can lead a drum circle that involves the use of percussion instruments. Patients may even dance, which can elicit a calming response.
Another benefit of music as part of Alzheimers therapy is the ability to create a more positive mood. In fact, some researchers have concluded that music can actually help a person with the disease experience a higher mood.
According to a study by researchers at the University of Utah, the cerebellar network and executive networks are activated during music. This is in addition to the visual and motivation circuitry.
The researchers studied a small group of participants with and without Alzheimer’s. After a 10-week period of musical therapy, the patients experienced a decrease in anxiety and paranoia. They also reported a decrease in agitation and behavioral problems.
Although researchers haven’t yet gotten around to conclusively proving that music is a therapeutic tool for Alzheimer’s patients, studies have suggested that it can improve physical health and social engagement. Furthermore, the calming nature of music can help reduce the amount of sensory overload the patient is experiencing.
Research also suggests that it may boost melatonin levels and improve sleep. As a result, music can be a great way to refocus a person’s energy during middle stages of the disease.
Music as part of Alzheimers therapy can also provide patients with new opportunities to interact with their loved ones. Specifically, music can help a patient reconnect with someone who once shared a special bond with them. Those who are fortunate enough to have had a lifetime of musical experiences may be able to enjoy playing a favorite instrument.
Occupational therapy for Alzheimer’s patients is a non-pharmacological intervention that can help to improve the quality of life of both patients and caregivers. It can help to maintain and restore daily functions such as dressing and eating.
OT can also work to reduce stress and anxiety associated with dementia. In addition, occupational therapists can teach the caregivers of a loved one with dementia how to manage their day-to-day activities. They can suggest products, equipment and activities that will increase the safety and independence of their loved ones.
The effectiveness of occupational therapy for Alzheimer’s patients has been examined in a number of studies. However, more research is necessary before we can know for certain if the therapy is effective. Occupational therapists can also help to educate families about the disease.
Occupational therapists evaluate a patient’s home environment and set up a plan to maximize engagement in activities and tasks. This helps to reduce frustration, stress and anxiety, which can help to enhance the quality of life of both the patient and the caregiver.
Occupational therapists can recommend products, equipment and activities to make day-to-day tasks more enjoyable for the patient. These may include clocks and stove element timers that can help to visually track important information, as well as memory apps that can help to assist clients with memory loss.
Occupational therapists can also work with the family to declutter and organize the home. This can reduce the clutter that is a common problem for those with dementia.
Occupational therapists can also provide a safe and secure environment for the person with Alzheimer’s disease, as well as the caregivers. This can help to create an emotional connection between the caregivers and the patient.
A few of the most important outcomes of occupational therapy for dementia patients are improved ADL performance, decreased depression, and improved quality of life. Providing therapy in the home can also reduce the anxiety and depression experienced by the caregivers.
Occupational therapists are trained to assess and address all areas of health and wellbeing. They can help to set up the home, recommend products, and provide technical assistance to the family.
Nutrition is an important part of clinical care for people with cognitive impairment. For patients with Alzheimer’s disease, a healthy diet can help reduce neurodegenerative risk. However, there is a knowledge gap in nutritional needs of patients with Alzheimer’s dementia.
This study explores the challenges care takers face and identifies strategies to overcome them. Focus group discussions were conducted to gain insights into the nutrition issues faced by patients with Alzheimer’s. The results were transcribed verbatim and coded by three investigators.
Caretakers, health workers, and family members all reported having difficulties in providing nutritional care. They also reported that they lacked knowledge on how to improve eating habits and drinking patterns in patients with Alzheimer’s.
Increasing knowledge about the nutritional needs of patients with Alzheimer’s dementia can help hospital management to enhance its health care delivery. Furthermore, training on nutrition management for health workers is a good option.
While studies have focused on the nutritional challenges caregivers and patients face, limited literature has investigated nutritional care for Alzheimer’s patients at home. These patients may have trouble swallowing or chewing. Moreover, their sense of taste and smell changes as they age.
Eating nutritious meals is not only a means to alleviate the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, it also has a significant impact on their overall health. Studies have shown that a healthy low fat diet can decrease the risk of developing Alzheimer’s. Also, regular exercise can contribute to a healthy weight and lower the risk of Alzheimer’s.
A high intake of antioxidants can protect cognitive impairment. Antioxidants can also prevent neuroinflammation, a key symptom of Alzheimer’s. Several studies have found that antioxidants are associated with a reduction in brain cell damage that occurs in Alzheimer’s. Interestingly, higher plasma vitamin C concentrations are generally linked to better cognitive function.
Research on nutritional challenges is important because the nutritional status of patients with Alzheimer’s dementia is often very poor. Caregivers and health care providers need to encourage patients to eat a variety of foods and drink regularly.
Despite these challenges, there are many ways to promote and improve the diet of patients with Alzheimer’s. By encouraging proper eating habits and facilitating the consumption of a wide variety of foods, caregivers can help make eating healthy more appealing and enjoyable.
Palliative care is a special type of health care that is designed to improve the quality of life of patients with serious and life-limiting illnesses, such as cancer and dementia. It is based on a holistic approach and provides relief from symptoms and emotional stressors.
For people with neurodegenerative disease, palliative care is a vital element of care. However, research is required to find the best approaches to changing behavior.
Researchers are tackling this problem from different perspectives. For example, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and the Marie Curie Priority Partnership Project have worked together to identify priority areas for research. These priorities highlight current unanswered questions.
The first priority is to develop transferable models of good care. These models should address the integration of palliative and dementia care as well as ensuring access to specialist services.
As an example, a study examining the effectiveness of advance care planning interventions showed that these had a positive impact on the quality of life. Advanced care planning may involve the creation of an advance statement which sets out preferences and beliefs for the patient. This document is not legally binding but should be considered by the healthcare team.
A number of studies have looked at the effectiveness of advance care plans, including those that involve family caregivers and volunteers. Some studies have also evaluated the effectiveness of palliative care interventions that take place at an early stage of the disease.
Research design is complex in dementia. There are different theoretical frameworks and methodologies, and identifying a good research design is often a challenge. Ideally, the design should include practitioners, academics and service-users.
An interdisciplinary workshop was held in May 2016 in Cork, Ireland, to discuss the evidence base for palliative care for people with dementia. Attendees included a wide range of health professionals. They represented academia and practice settings throughout the UK and Ireland.
The workshop highlighted gaps in clinical research. It also identified key recommendations for research practice. The EAPC (European Association for Palliative Care) has produced a White Paper on palliative care for dementia.
If you like what you read, check out our other articles here.