Researchers have found that people with dementia in care homes who were enrolled on a 12 month regime of behavioural and mental exercises showed a postponement of the progression of the symtoms
The study, which looked at 98 people with dementia living in five nursing homes in Bavaria, Germany, placed 50 people in a group therapy programme called MAKS which consisted of motor stimulation, cognitive stimulation, daily living activities and a therapy session.
After a year, those in the MAKS group with mild to moderate dementia were reported to have maintained their level of cognition on the Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale (ADAS) and ability to carry out daily living activities. Those in the control group receiving their usual care were reported to have declined in cognitive and functional ability.
Alzheimer's Society comment:
'This small study supports the view that with the right support, people can live well with dementia throughout the condition. Evidence shows that good care involves activities people with dementia find interesting and enjoyable, and interaction with others. Currently a typical person with dementia in a care home spends just two minutes every six hours socially interacting with other people.
Further research is needed before recommending this regime is integrated into usual care for people with dementia. In the meantime, care staff should be empowered with training to provide good quality care.'
Dr Anne Corbett