The Burden of Dementia

by Valerie T. Cotter, MSN, CRNP, FAANP, The American Journal of Managed Care, Vol. 13, No. 8. Good scientific discussion of characteristics and consequences of dementia, and how to handle difficult dementia behavior by non-pharmacologic interventions for behavioral disturbances. Examples of non-pharmacologic methods that can alleviate behavioral symptoms of dementia and reduce caregiver burden and stress, include: reminiscence therapy (discussions of past events and experiences of the patient’s life with the aid of prompts such as photographs or specific music or sound recordings); Montessori-based activity programs (which absorb and reduce anxiety for dementia patients and thereby reduce agitation, aggression, and wandering while improving mood and reality orientation); personalized
music (according to patient preferences) which has a calming effect; and attention to improved communication and reducing of stressors in the patient’s environment.

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