Alternatives to drugs could soon be used in the management of dementia. A review of medical evidence suggests that music and massage could be equally effective in treatment of memory loss.
Following the release of an interim report from the royal commission into aged care, findings suggest there is a “significant over reliance” on the use of drugs such as antipsychotic and and antidepressant medicine.
The use of these drugs can also increase the risk of falls and fractures as well as cognitive impairment and death.
Now a recent review of scientific studies published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine has found that some non-drug treatments in dementia symptoms such as aggression and agitation were sometimes more (if not equally) effective than common medication.
“We found that massage therapy or massage therapy combined with music therapy and multidisciplinary care were some of the most effective interventions,” says lead author and geriatrician, Dr Jennifer Watt.
The researchers found that massage therapy could be as short as a five-minute hand massage. Meanwhile, playing music the person enjoyed had therapeutic benefits.
Although cost hadn’t been calculated, Dr Watt suggests they may be more accessible than you think.
“For example, in my practice as a geriatrician, would be that music therapy intervention could be something as simple as getting a resident their own iPod with headphones and having family members choose music genres that they know their loved one enjoyed before they developed such severe dementia,” she continued.
“Similarly massage therapy could be something so simple as a simple hand massage for five minutes or handholding. And again, that can be very comforting.”
Great news for not only sufferers but relatives of those affected by dementia.,