Alzheimer’s patients can be some of the most difficult to look after. They can be very aggressive, commonly resorting to wringing the arms of those looking after them, having frequent outbursts of anger, constant yelling and just generally distrusting people. Their lack of ability to process stimuli leaves them unnerved and they tend to express themselves through bouts of aggression.
Alzheimer’s is a mentally debilitating disease which causes the loss of memory by weakening the connections in your brain; eventually those that suffer from Alzheimer’s lose all their memory and succumb to death.
The medication prescribed to those suffering from Alzheimer’s leads to serious side effects (diarrhea, vomiting, excessive fatigue etc.) that further worsen the physical health of the patient. To make matters worse, patients who are being treated for other conditions such as Diabetes are prescribed medication that also affects the brain and memory.
Because it has such severe side-effects and since the treatment cannot reverse the condition or stop it from progressing, many loved ones look for alternative treatment for the sake of bettering the patient’s condition.
When Alzheimer’s patients are free of anxiety and stress they are more receptive to their surroundings. The following therapies serve as alternate therapies to traditional medication that can have serious side-effects:
- Music Therapy
Music therapy has shown to have favorable effects on Alzheimer’s patients. They have trouble focusing on small details and become agitated easily when they are presented with too much stimuli. Music calms their nerves, sort of like how lullabies soothe babies. To help calm them down, play slow paced music, it has a way of drowning out all the other noise and relieving them of stress.
Certain types of music from the past can help trigger the brain and help recall past memories. You’ll find that they respond best to music from their younger days (teens and twenties) because it reminds them of their youth and the times they had.
Playing unfamiliar music also gets their attention. You won’t have to worry about bringing up any bad memories when you are playing them music they haven’t heard in the past, just make sure it’s something that they enjoy.
Engaging music, specifically with percussion sounds and fast tempos promote movement and improve mood. Music that is stimulating can assist with activities of our daily lives.
- Art therapy
Alzheimer’s patients have difficulty in expressing themselves, art therapy lets them explore their imagination and organize their mind. For those moments they are able to focus on particular thoughts and articulate them.
- Story Telling
When you are able to get Alzheimer’s patients’ attention and make them focus on specific stimuli, they tend to calm down – storytelling does just that. Through storytelling you are able to guide their thoughts so they aren’t distracted by other stimuli, this is comforting to Alzheimer’s patients who do not like being overstimulated.
- Pet therapy
Sometimes when you’re struggling in life, you feel better when you are able to serve others. The same applies to Alzheimer’s patients. Although Alzheimer’s patients are not in the right state of mind to provide others with advice, they are still able to take care of pets. Pet therapy helps pull them out of depression and gives a boost to their self-esteem.
Aromatherapy has been used to relax people for decades. Now there is evidence that it can help people with Alzheimer’s too. Essential oils such as rosemary and peppermint support memory and appetite. Lavender and lemon balm help suppress feelings of anxiety and agitation. Bergamot is known to improve mood and help with sleep.
If you’re looking for safer alternatives to help your loved ones through their Alzheimer’s and Dementia then you should try these out.
Brooke Whistance is a passionate health and lifestyle blogger who loves to write about prevailing trends. She has been living in Los Angeles, California with her family including, her parents and two siblings. She is a featured author at various authoritative blogs in the health and fitness industry and currently, she is associated as a blogger with 123 Home Cares, a senior home care provider in more than 13 different locations in the state of California.