People with dementia can often become agitated and aggressive creating disruption for themselves and the people who look after them. They are often prescribed antipsychotic drugs for their disturbed behaviour but these can have serious health consequences raising the risk of stroke and cardiovascular problems. Researchers at the National Yang-Ming University in Taipei studied the effectiveness of acupressure and Montessori-based activities in reducing agitation in a sample of 133 people with dementia living in care homes. Compared to a control group daily acupressure significantly decreased agitated behaviour. Montessori-based activities carried out daily significantly improved aggressive behaviour. Care assistants found it easier to look after the participants after they had had a session of acupuncture or Montessori and the Montessori intervention was associated with a significant increase in positive affect. Neither approach decreased verbally-agitated behaviour.
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