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Occupational therapy is dementia aid

17th November 2006

According to an article in the British Medical Journal, occupational therapy can help people suffering with dementia to perform daily activities.

The treatment can include educating patients in how they can perform household tasks in easier ways as an adjustment to their condition.

In the journal, the work of researchers from the Netherlands involving 135 patients suffering from mild to moderate dementia is reported to have shown a significantly better functionality in daily life for patients following occupational therapy, as compared to those who were not given the support.

Participants were given ten home-based sessions of occupational therapy, which was given by an experienced practitioner, over a period of five weeks.

The report's authors have said that the findings led them to "strongly advocate" the inclusion of occupational therapy in treatment programmes for dementia management.

There are currently 26,000 occupational therapists in the UK who can perform a myriad of duties, from ensuring that wheelchair ramps are installed in the patient's home, to assisting with either the adaptation of utensils, such as forks, or working out an alternative – easier - way to use them.