Massage and music therapy are more effective than sedatives at calming people with dementia according to a study by authors from the University of Toronto who believe it is time to move away from drugs. If patients become aggressive or agitated it is more humane and more patient centred to use non-medical treatments. A hand massage for just 5-10 minutes can calm a person down. Also music can be used, for example giving a person a headset with their favourite type, this could be as diverse as jazz or classic rock! In Britain the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recommends that carers first try to deal with upset patients with non-drug therapy such as massage, exercise or aromatherapy.
Mark Booker owner of Independent Living commented “the use of alternative techniques does seem a great way forward, it is perhaps more time consuming and labour intensive but surely it gives older people a better quality of life.” In the home care sectors where people have one-to-one care we do try to find activities which interest people with dementia, this may be cooking, gardening, puzzles etc