When it comes to treating Alzheimer's, there are many medical and non-medical approaches. In fact, some specialists rely on alternative therapies to help reach these patients both emotionally and mentally. Some of the things to consider include art, music and pet therapies. Here are some tips for making the most of these alternative treatment options for your loved one.
Using Music Therapy
Music can help Alzheimer's patients in many ways. Emotions are often linked to many things, from our sense of smell to the songs that we hear. For this reason, music therapy can help to trigger memories and strengthen the memory response in some Alzheimer's patients.
Playing familiar music may actually help some patients to revisit memories in a calm, stress-free way. Music of all kinds can even help you to improve your loved one's mood. Playing upbeat, happy music can help your loved one feel happier and more energetic.
Focus on Familiarity
Look for music from a happy time in your loved one's life. The songs that are likely to spark the strongest emotional response will come from times of emotional events, such as a wedding or around the young adult years.
Try Something New
If you want to help your loved one relax and feel more at ease without actually triggering any emotional memories, play some newer music as well. This will help you keep the influence of the music without overwhelming him or her with memories that could be difficult to process.
Other Common Therapies
In addition to music therapy, you may want to explore other options to help your loved one cope with the effects of Alzheimer's. There are many therapists who will even offer in-home treatment sessions or support for these methods.
Animals are used for therapy for a wide range of conditions. For Alzheimer's patients, pet therapy has been shown to help ease depression symptoms. If your loved one likes animals or enjoys a particular type of pet, you may find that having a pet or routinely caring for an animal can make a difference in overall moods and happiness.
Not only does pet therapy provide an avenue for exercise for patients who can still walk around easily, having animals around can ease stress levels. Consider a service dog or a therapy cat for your loved one if he or she is an animal person. The interaction with the animal can stimulate certain areas of the brain and may help to improve your loved one's overall mood from day to day.
For people who have a creative side, art therapy can be soothing and may actually improve communication and expression, which can be difficult in later stages of Alzheimer's. Art materials provide a new outlet for expression, which can help your loved one to express thoughts and feelings that may be difficult to put into words. Scrapbooking and similar crafts can be soothing, and may provide an opportunity to reinforce some memories.
As Alzheimer's progresses, it can strip adults of their language skills. This can be a frustration for both the patient and family members. If you can start an art therapy plan now, you'll be able to help your loved one form new ways of expression and communication through artistic mediums, which can ease the communication struggles when physical language becomes a struggle.
As you can see, there are many different options for alternative treatments. These may be beneficial by themselves for patients in the early stages of the condition, but can also be beneficial as it progresses. Talk with a specialist about these options and other supportive in-home treatments for your loved one.
check out sites like http://comforcare.com for more information.