7) Bunny Therapy 

At the Country Care Rehabilitation Center in Santa Margarita, California, speech pathologist Laura VanDerLind uses her two-pound Netherland dwarf rabbit named Chubby Bunny to help calm and engage participants during sessions. "Why do nursing home dementia patients cry and get agitated?" she writes. "They’re confused and scared. They know something is wrong, but it doesn’t resolve. Pet therapy helps improve their morale without making demands."

8) Doll Therapy
Admittedly, baby dolls can look a little creepy, but they have immense benefits for those with dementia. Dolls can bring back positive memories of parenting, making people feel useful and needed. In studies, they've also been shown to reduce aggression and anxiety in people with Alzheimer's and dementia.

9) Video game therapy
They’re not just for kids! In multiple studies, “excergames,” which require players to perform physical tasks, were shown to improve mobility and balance while reducing the risk of injury and disease in those living with dementia. They have also been shown to slow coginitive decline in older adults with Alzheimer’s and other dementias.

snoezelen The inside of a Snoezelen room

10) Bright Light Therapy
Exposure to bright light is good for our brains and can help reduce depression and keep our wake-sleep cycles in check. Studies have also shown that habitual exposure to bright light slows cognitive decline and reduces the effects of sundowning. Products like the HappyLight Deluxe Sunshine Supplement Light System can be used to mimic bright sunlight.

11) Snoezelen Rooms

Psychedelic-looking Snoezelen rooms are designed to stimulate the senses—touch, smell, sight and sound— and are used to call up positive memories, as well as to relax and calm whoever is using them. They are filled with things like fiber optic bubble tubes, moving lights, projectors, rockers, artwork and aromatherapy. While they're a bit difficult to build at home, there are about 1,200 Snoezelen rooms across North America.


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Megan Jones

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