Rehabilitation and dementia

Java PrintingI’m in the final stages of a subject on rehabilitation and dementia, and this Wordle was one of the last activities for our online weekly activities. It was wonderful to be learning a course that promotes rehabilitation for the elderly and for people with dementia, but it is curious it is not actually happening for people with dementia in clinical practice.

In keeping with the latest research it is important, in the same way it is for nay other disease, that we take care of our physical and emotional health, and rehab can play a huge part in improving the quality of life for people with dementia, and may slow down the progression of the disease.

I certainly believe exercise and other non pharmacological and positive psychosocial interventions for people with dementia, does slow down the progression of dementia, with or without evidence based research to prove it.

Anyone who exercises regularly will know the psychological and physical benefits of it. By exercise I don’t mean marathon running, but more therapeutic rehab interventions such as speech pathology, occupational therapy, hydrotherapy, simple balancing exercises, yoga, mindfulness, tai chi, walking, swimming, and even something as simple as having fun.

These are the things that have great potential to improve well being and quality of life people with dementia; add in care being provided in a truly authentic person centred way,  the experience of dementia, and outcomes for  those diagnosed and their loved ones will be vastly more positive. Add into the mix respectful language and my list of 20 things not to say or do to a person with dementia, people with dementia will experience a far more positive and improved service or care.

9 thoughts on “Rehabilitation and dementia

  1. Pingback: NDIS update (for Australia) |

  2. Good post Kate – I’d like to add one point.

    Talking with the dementia patient.

    Because I rarely have interaction with others my word retrieval is going downhill. I should be practicing it “with myself” ie. talking to myself ….. but I haven’t committed myself to doing it. I’m not pushing myself to do it for 10 minutes each day, but I should! It’s not that exciting talking to yourself ……


    • Perhaps you would like to join our online webinars or cafe – I will sendyou the detail of the next online cafe to be held at a time suitable for Australians – but put Wednesday 19 November, 12.30 Sydney time into your diary. All you need is a computer – if you have the camera you would need for Skype set up, then you can use Zoom… love to chat to you x


  3. So we need someone who is not a time-strapped carer to do the rehab and demonstrate how in the long run it saves time. A rehabilitated resident with dementia must need less care than an unrehabilitated resident?


  4. Kate I love the notion of ‘rehabilitation and dementia’ Mary Marshal once wrote a great book on it – but after that it sort of just died a death. Did you see my article on it last year? looking forward to learning more about this from you


    • Yes, it is in the literature too, but staff barely have time to do more than assist with eating and showering as therer are not enough of them.. imagine adding in rehab for their residents… in my experience, they are not usually willing even to do what a physio prescribes, either due to time or sometimes even a lack of good will… I have been told “it is a waste of time, they have got dementia”


      • And yet if they were given the same diagnosis, I’m sure there would be great motivation – then they would find the will – shouldn’t advanced care plans be written with “a patient in mind” – addressing their needs displays the compassion that the clinical environment perhaps at time is still lacking.


      • Totally agree… I was at a forum yesterday, and the focus was on the ‘challenging behaviours’, and very little to do with the person living well or having any joy in their life… we seem to have such a long way to go for the patient to be in mind 😦


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