In recognition of National Minority Health Month, World Health Day (April 7), and National Public Health Week (April 7-13), LBDA would like to focus on the overall health of the person with dementia. Recent reports indicate that exercise may prove effective in helping older people with dementia retain their ability to complete simple, everyday tasks.
In a study published in The Cochrane Library, researchers reviewed eight studies involving 329 people that examined the effect exercise on improving cognitive function in seniors with dementia. The conclusion drawn was that exercise helps people with dementia better perform everyday activities, such as walking or standing up from a seated position.
As a result of this study, interest has peaked in further examination of whether or not exercise may also help improve more challenging behaviors or symptoms of depression among people with dementia. Additional interest also focuses on whether exercise can help people with dementia remain at home longer. Previous research suggested that exercise might be helpful in treating or slowing dementia and linked exercise to increased cognitive functioning, such as improvements in memory and attention.
Sources: FoxNews.com. Published December 4, 2013.
Forbes D, Thiessen EJ, Blake CM, et al. Exercise programs for people with dementia. The Cochrane Library. Published Online: December 4, 2013. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD006489.pub3.