The specific type of dementia therapy, known as goal oriented therapy, has over the past few months been looked into by researchers located in England.
This week, the results of their work were presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference, where they state goal oriented therapy can substantially help people in the early stages of dementia maintain important skills and a sense of independence.
What is goal oriented therapy?
Goal oriented therapy, also known as cognitive rehabilitation therapy, is a specific type of dementia therapy that focuses on working with the family carer to identify issues and set specific goals relating to the person with dementia.
In most cases, three goals are set by a therapist. These can vary depending on what the home carer and therapist think will be best for the person in question.
Some people aim to help make their loved one more independent, while others aim to help keep them socially connected to friends and family.
Regardless of the goals chosen, these are then monitored by the therapist throughout the therapy, in the hopes that by the end of a set period of time, these goals will have been achieved.
The GREAT trial
Yet there has been very little research into the effects of goal oriented therapy, which is why researchers from Exeter University decided to look into the matter.
A total of 475 people living with dementia across England and Wales took part in The Goal-oriented Cognitive Rehabilitation in Early-stage Alzheimer’s and Related Dementias: Multi-centre Single-blind Randomised Controlled Trial (GREAT) trial, which aimed to study the effects of goal oriented therapy.
Half of the participants received a total of ten goal-oriented therapy sessions over the course of three months. After these three months, they were then given four more “top-up” sessions over a six-month period. The other half received no form of therapy in order to compare any effects in the other group.
At the end of the study, researchers stated that those who took part in the therapy had made significant progress in the areas identified to them, which ranged from remembering to lock doors, engaging in conversation and using household appliances correctly to name but a few.
The carers of those with dementia also praised the therapy, stating that they were happy with the noticeable progress that had been made with their loved ones.
Lead researcher of the study, Professor Linda Clare, said this approach to dementia therapy could allow many people with dementia stay in their homes for longer, which could help cut care costs.
“We now know that cognitive rehabilitation effectively supports people to achieve the everyday goals that matter to them,” she said.
“The next step is to quantify benefits such as whether this approach delays the need for people to go into care homes by supporting them to live independently for longer,” she said.
“This could have important financial benefits for social care.”
Here at Home Caring in Bondi Junction, dementia therapy is important to us. That’s why we offer a number of different therapies to suit a variety of needs. Get in contact with us today to find out more.