Aged-care facilities and homes have traditionally had a strong inclination to utilise antipsychotic drugs to manage the aggressive symptoms of their dementia prone residents, but new evidence is revealing those drugs may not be necessary to reach desired results.
The problem with these sedative medications are the side effects which impair and endanger the user which includes increased risks of falling and fractures, brain impairment and sometimes even death.
A recent study by a Canadian research team published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, have shown that massage therapy or a combination of massage therapy, music therapy and multidisciplinary care has an equal or even better effect than antipsychotic drugs.
Massage therapy involves something as simple as a 5 minute massage, music therapy involves playing the residents favourite music from their younger years, and multidisciplinary care involves social workers and nurses providing the right care at the right time.
Here's the problem...
Whilst in theory this feel like a simple, logical and attainable solution, there is one element that cannot be changed: A shortage of staff. Without the funds to hire more of the relevant staff members to carry out these therapies and care, this process becomes non-applicable on a wider scale.
Is there a solution?
Whilst nothing can replace a human-to-human interaction, one of the ways this can be solved is to use modern technology. Music therapy can be administered using a smart phone and massage therapy can be carried out with massage tools that are now available to purchase.