Non-pharmacological approaches to dementia: An overview of foundations & considerations
Dementia is a syndrome characterized by the progressive degeneration of one's cognitive function. The syndrome inflicts one in every nine individuals 65 and older; and 200,000 individuals under the age of 65. Currently, no cure exists; thus, finding the highest quality treatment to reduce the symptoms of the disease must become priority. Maintaining or increasing one’s quality of life is the utmost goal of any therapy for individuals with dementia. Currently, non-pharmacological approaches for suppressing concomitant symptoms of the disease have become highly debated and researched for their usefulness and for their ability to achieve this goal. Several therapeutic methods that can be considered non-pharmacological - music therapy, narrative telling , poetry, art therapy, technological interventions, and exercise and dance movement programs. A literature review was completed in order to determine the role of theseapproaches on dementia. Findings indicate that there is a small effect on cognition during these therapies presently, but there is still insufficient research in the area to conclude a sufficient difference. Non-pharmacological treatments yield potential quality of life benefits while additionally being cost-effective compared to medical interventions. Due its prevalence, further research on this topic is warranted and necessary.
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