Confusion, anger, sadness or apathy are some of the negative feelings and emotional states shared by people with Alzheimer’s as well as by their caregivers, especially their loved ones.
And while antidepressants may be a possible treatment option, it’s certainly not the best given the side effects. So some researchers working in the field continue to look for other gentler therapeutic approaches, for improve the mood of patients with dementia and their caregivers.
In a pilot study, researchers at the Madison School of Pharmacy at the University of Wisconsin (USA) found that patients with dementia and with access to tablets for listen to music or go to YouTube had a better mood than the others.
Published in the journal JMIR Formative Research, the study was conducted with the support of healthcare workers, who helped design personalized digital tablets and assessed their patients’ mood before and after more than 1,000 sessions.
The use of music andYouTube app are the measures that have been most associated with improved mood in patients. The combination of several “strategies” (ex: listening to music then looking at family photos) was also associated with a more positive mood. Caregivers and caregivers also reported being in a better mood thanks to these devices, precisely because the patients were less grumpy.
“One of the things the tablet allows you to do is bring all the non-pharmacological approaches together so that they can be delivered through one device ”, said Jay Ford, co-author of the study. “It offers the possibility ofadapt the intervention to the person with dementia“, he added.
“The good thing is that it is a real-time experience. If an interaction doesn’t work, you can try another app. You can switch from music to memory. You can then find the interventions to which the person responds best”, added Aaron Gilson, also co-author of this observational study.