DEMENTIA SERVICES FOR INDIVIDUALS AND ORGANISATIONS JULIE COLE OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST

Sensory Intervention

Aromatherapy and Dementia

There are just a few small scale research studies that have explored the use of aromatherapy as treatment for some of the unpleasant symptoms of agitation and distress that some people with dementia experience.   Most notably the use of melissa  (lemon balm)  to ease agitation and the properties of lavender to promote sleep have been…

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Managing Sound in the Environment for People with Dementia

The auditory quality of the space where a person with dementia lives has an important role in promoting their well-being and orientating them to their environment.  This applies whether or not they have a hearing impairment,  a condition that commonly runs alongside a dementia diagnosis.    We all have different auditory preferences and tolerance to noise too. …

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Hand Massage: Accessible Touch Therapy for People with Dementia

Massage therapy has the capacity for relieving stress and  providing positive sensory input and expressive human touch.   As such it can be used to relieve agitation and distress for people with dementia at the earliest through to the most advanced stages of the disease.  Its use can promote well being and  prevent some of the difficult behaviours that originate from  troubled states of mind. …

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Activity and Dementia: Breadmaking

  Few food have as much meaning to us as bread.  In its various guises, it is a staple of diets across much of the world, eaten by many on a near daily basis.  It is used metaphorically to suggest material worth and is an important religious symbol in both Judaic and Christian traditions.  Because of…

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Mirrors and Dementia: A Reflection!

The inspiration for this post came at the weekend when I was staying in Bristol with my fourteen year old son.   We were walking around the city centre and went by a stall selling vintage clothing along the waterside.  The stallholder had placed a mirror for  customers to use.  My son caught a glimpse of the…

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Lighting and its Role in Creating the Optimum Environment for People with Dementia

It seems obvious that making changes to the physical environment will be beneficial for a person with dementia in terms of helping them make sense of their environment, compensating for difficulties that they experience and improving their sense of wellbeing.  Considering their lighting needs in the places where they live and spend time  is an important part of…

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Doll Therapy and Dementia

I was drawn to becoming an occupational therapist so that I could help people explore meaning in their life.  What that entails varies across their lifespan.  For what is meaningful to a person changes over time. It’s  dependent on lots of things: the different roles that they adopt,  their culture  and belief system,  the state of their physical and…

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Hearing Aids and Dementia

I always thought that a very lovely friend of mine was wonderfully serene, if not a bit vague.  Then she had her hearing tested and it turned out that she was quite profoundly deaf, possibly from childhood.  Hearing aids were prescribed and she has become much more animated.  But they’ve takenad a bit to adjusting…

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Making Sense: The Sensory Environment and Dementia

I went on a day long course from The Sensory Integration Network last year that gave me a glimpse of just how differently a person with dementia might experience the world.   Their course about applying sensory integration principles to older adults comes highly recommended, especially to occupational therapy colleagues  who work in any specialty with  people of…

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Activity and Dementia: In The Garden

I have a feeling that this might be the first of many  posts about the benefits of garden based activity for people with dementia.  So this is just a little taster.   For we are looking at such a versatile environment which lends itself to a plethora of activities.   Even those like me who…

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