Non-pharmacological Interventions

For those with mild to moderate dementia, involvement with a structured group stimulation programme, where patients engage with exercises requiring cognitive processing, may help their cognitive impairment.

This is supported by quantitative and qualitative evidence.

Behavioural changes are shown to benefit from a number of interventions including:

  • Aromatherapy and massage
  • Multisensory stimulation
  • Music and dance
  • Animal-assisted therapy

Support strategies

The aim of reaching an early diagnosis of dementia for patients is to facilitate the initiation of interventions which may help slow the progression of their disease and to help patients and carers access help and support early on.

There are a number of agencies which provide this practical and emotional support. They disseminate information regarding the symptoms and signs of dementia, its progression and available treatments, as well as giving financial and legal advice.

There are also a number of support groups specific for each dementia subtype, such as The Lewy Body Dementia Association and The Association for Frontotemporal Dementias.

All of these agencies have user-friendly websites and many have local branches with support groups and advisors who can be contacted by phone or post, for those without access to the internet.

Useful Resources

Alzheimer’s Society
The Alzheimer’s Society has a number of helpful leaflets aimed at patients and carers and these can be printed from its website.
Specific advice on driving can be found on this website.
NHS Choices website
Carers UK website
Citizens Advice Bureau
Not all patients or carers are able to get help themselves, and therefore a proactive approach must be adopted so that appropriate care packages can be put in place.

Links to these websites can be found on the Web Resources page of this session.

Learning Bite

Non-pharmacological interventions can benefit both cognitive and behavioural aspects of dementia.

It is important to be aware of the services and charities available in your local area as well as national programmes