Sensory Stimulation in Dementia

In: Psychology

Submitted By allysayshello
Words 577
Pages 3
The article “Sensory Stimulation in Dementia” discusses an alternative to handling behavioral problems in senior citizen who suffer from dementia. More often than not, older individuals with dementia will experience symptoms often attributed to psychiatric patients. These include anxiety, hostility, wandering, depression, delusions, disrupted sleep, and hallucinations. The most common form of treatment for such symptoms is either institutional care or behavioral treatment. In addition to either of these approaches, however, patients often receive drugs such as antipsychotics or other sedatives in order to alleviate the effects of the dementia. The problem here is that these neuroleptics and similar drugs almost always come with their own respective side effects, including a general decrease in quality of life. One main concern here is that patients who are receiving such drugs to control their symptoms are often the patients who are already experiencing low qualities of life as is because their dementia symptoms are generally so severe.
Other recent attempts at treatment include snoezelen, which is another name for controlled multisensory stimulation, where patients are exposed to a soothing and stimulating environment. In this environment, they will receive varied sensory stimulation in the forms of fiber optic lighting effects, color, sounds, music, or smells. The light treatment and aromatherapy have emerged as the two most promising approaches among these in the treatment of dementia. In fact, in the three most recent studies (as of 2004) of light therapy on dementia patients, the improvement of those with the real treatment far exceeded that of those with the placebo. Even more promising yet, those with the treatment experienced virtually no side effects. In regards to the aromatherapy, overall quality of living actually increased with treatment, as…...

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