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June Blogger Series: ePromising Advances: Three New Treatments for Dementia

By June 28, 2013Dementia

Recent advances in alternative Alzheimer’s and dementia treatments have had amazing results both in nursing homes and at-home care. The following are three important and effective treatments that are being used today in various institutions in North America:

 

 

  1. “Memories Over Medicine”

 

The Middlechurch Home of Winnipeg Inc., located in Canada, is using this innovative treatment on a daily basis to make their patients feel useful in their everyday life. For example, one of their patients, a man named Ralph McOmber, used to be a carpenter before he moved into their facility with dementia. For him, working with his hands and doing things such as painting, crafting and other hands-on activities keeps him feeling useful and in control.

 

Instead of relying on medication to keep dementia patients comfortable, helping them stay active with the hobbies and interests they pursued their whole lives is proving to be therapeutic. The importance of this type of treatment is that the patient’s quality of life improves; instead of always sleeping or struggling to find a place for themselves in everyday life, aging dementia patients can feel that they are contributing.

 

  1. “Rummaging Bags”

 

Many dementia patients tend to rummage through their belongings looking for something, though they are not always sure what it is they are looking for. Passages Hospice Dementia Program, which is implemented in their facilities across the country, uses a treatment called “Rummage Bags” as a response to this.  The staff at Passages puts together “Rummage Bags” filled with personal items belonging to each patient, such as keys, pictures and books. Their website states that these bags have improved patient anxiety when they are rummaging. They feel at ease with themselves and their surroundings if they always have their most treasured personal items near at hand.

 

  1. C-Map Learning System

 

Dr. John Zeisel, President and co-founder of The I’m Still Here Foundation and Hearthstone Alzheimer Care, Ltd., created the C-Map Learning System to help treat aging patients with “early cognitive impairment and memory loss.” This system encourages dementia patients to continue learning and achieving goals, which keeps the brain active and the patient feeling positive for longer. The C-Map Learning System combines treatment theories from The I’m Still Here Foundation as well as methodology from Montessori (think, Montessori Schools). By encouraging patients to continue learning and to be curious, this system helps improve patient mental and physical activity.

These are just a few of the ways doctors, caregivers and family members are treating dementia and instilling comfort and security in those suffering from symptoms. These solutions were developed out of personal experiences and challenges with dementia and Alzheimer’s. You may have had your own experiences that could contribute to the next big breakthrough in treatment and management. Have you used any particular treatment that has worked well and is not mentioned here?

 

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