Alzheimer’s & Dementia: Alternative Practices of Therapy

Alzheimer’s & Dementia: Five Alternative Practices of Therapy

It’s an open secret within the home health care community: alternative therapies for Alzheimer’s and dementia are making their way! Although some of these therapeutic practices are young and in the process of being researched, many home health care aids agree, they show results.

The following will explore five alternative therapeutic methods for Alzheimer’s and dementia! 

1. Aromatherapy

Soothing smells are not solely a reason to detour to the candle store! As of recent years, aromatherapy is believed to help Alzheimer patients in many facets of their daily lives. 

A 2004 study conducted by the University of Newcastle found the connection between lemon balm and the improvement of Alzheimer’s patients’ memories. They also discovered that it helped bring about a general improvement of mood!

2. Pet Therapy

There is something inherently calming about being with a pet. A pet can help alleviate stress, curb the symptoms of depression, and soothe anxiety. Thus, for patients with Alzheimer’s, there is nothing more calming than spending an afternoon with a licensed, furry friend. 

3. Bright Light Therapy

Although new, this form of therapy is circulating the home health care community. The therapy consists of sitting in front of a very bright light, about 30 times brighter than the average office light, for an extended period of time. It is believed that the exposure to this luminary helps Alzheimer’s and dementia patients combat sleep disorders, and other disrupted sleep patterns.  

4. Massage Therapy

Let’s be honest, we all can use a day at the masseuse. Yet, Alzehimer’s patients may benefit from a rub down as well. There is a belief that massage therapy can aid dementia and help Alzheimer’s patients manage their symptoms. 

In 1995, Snyder at al. watched the effect that a five minute hand massage had on someone with dementia. They discovered that the massage helped quell the patient’s mental agitation for an extended period of time!

5. Gardening

When we are in need of solace, it always helps to return to mother earth! Gardening is a great addition to therapy within the Alzheimer’s community. Thus, many people have added gardening to their home health care strategy! 

In 1984, Dr. Roger Ulrich “published a study linking the importance of emphasizing nature in wellness plans.” This study revealed that the overall feeling within healthcare establishments were improved through nature. So, if you live near a community garden, you might want to consider implementing gardening therapy into your dementia and Alzheimer’s homecare plan along with a home care nurse