Choirs, baking and pet therapy on NHS for dementia sufferers 



Choirs, baking and pet therapy should be offered to people with dementia, in a bid to boost their quality of life, the NHS has been told. 

The National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (Nice) says that those with the condition should be offered a range of activities that can help promote wellbeing.

Others include exercise, aromatherapy, art, gardening, reminiscence therapy, music therapy, mindfulness and art classes.

Nice said those with dementia, and their carers should be given the chance to choose activities which are geared around the preferences of individuals. 

Professor Gillian Leng, deputy chief executive and director of health and social care at NICE, said:“People with dementia can find it harder to take part in activities, to engage socially, to maintain their independence, to communicate effectively, to feel in control and to care for themselves. Providing enjoyable and health-enhancing activities like music or reminiscence therapy can help with this.

“Understanding the activities that a person prefers and thinks are suitable and helpful, and adapting them to their strengths and needs, will make a person more likely to engage with the activities offered and therefore more likely to benefit from them.”

The recommendation, which comes in Nice’s updated quality standard on dementia, follows an NHS drive for “social prescribing” in order to increase activity levels, and reduce reliance on medication.


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