Patients benefit from dementia therapy
Dementia patients in Bermuda have benefited from an international therapy course to improve memory and mood.
Four of the seven participants showed better thought processes, four saw an improvement in their mood and three said they had a better quality of life after completing the first cognitive stimulation therapy programme run by charity Action on Alzheimer’s & Dementia.
The daughter of one participant said: “Dementia has taken a toll on my father’s confidence and he was becoming withdrawn, depriving him of the social interaction that he so badly needed.
“This course helped to break his isolation through meaningful engagement with others.”
His wife added: “What was good for him was the camaraderie between people who were all in the same position. That was a positive thing and he always looked forward to participating.”
The daughter of another participant said: “He seems to be more in the real world and less in his head.
“I think this is due to the much needed social interaction and meaning he gains from the programme.”
The seven-week course was developed in Britain to help people suffering from mild to moderate dementia. Alzheimer’s, which has no cure, is the most common form of the condition.
The Bermuda participants, including men and women from a mix of economic and ethnic backgrounds, met twice a week at the Peace Lutheran Church in Paget.
Occupational therapist Marie Fay, who led the course, said: “There was a clear programming gap in Bermuda for this specific group — people who have recently received a diagnosis and are still living independently and are motivated to maintain their cognitive skills, independence and quality of life.”
The participants painted, played Scrabble, baked cookies and took part in team games during the 14 themed two-hour classes. The organisers said the results “broadly” reflected international findings and all seven patients said that they would like to participate again.
Ms Fay added: “I received a lot of positive feedback from the participants but I am really pleased that there was also a positive reflection on the memory and mood scales as well.”
The first course ran from January to March and another is planned for later this year.
AAD plans to offer two courses a year but said there was potential to expand the programme if there is sponsorship and funding.
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