Achieving personal goals can help people in the early stages of dementia manage their condition, according to Alzheimer's Society research published in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.
Researchers at Bangor University, Wales found that people who received cognitive rehabilitation felt their performance of daily activities improved. Caregivers also noted an improvement in their own quality of life.
Cognitive rehabilitation is a treatment where people with dementia work with health professionals to identify personal goals and develop strategies for achieving them. Goals were tailored to the participants' specific needs and included things such as remembering details of jobs to be done around the house, maintaining concentration when cooking, learning to use a mobile phone, and remembering the names of people at an exercise class. The cognitive rehabilitation group said they saw an improvement in their ability to carry out all of the chosen activities.
The trial compared eight weekly individual sessions of cognitive rehabilitation with relaxation therapy and no treatment. As well as setting and working on goals the cognitive rehabilitation group also learnt and practiced techniques for taking in new information, managing stress, and maintaining attention and concentration.
As well as using feedback from participants researchers also used MRI imaging. The brains of participants who received cognitive rehabilitation did show different responses after the intervention suggesting the treatment may have stimulated greater activity in certain brain areas and networks, reactivating some areas that were under-functioning due to the effects of the disease.
Life lesson and one I learned from elders about living a quality of life – continue to have purpose. This study is related because when you have purpose you more than likely will be setting goals to live that purpose.
Source—Long Term Living Magazine