Child’s play tonic for de­men­tia suf­fer­ers

Scottish Daily Mail - - Little John - By Kate Foster Scot­tish Health Ed­i­tor

SPEND­ING time with nurs­ery age chil­dren sig­nif­i­cantly im­proves the mood and well­be­ing of adults with de­men­tia, say re­searchers.

Shared ac­tiv­i­ties such as art, gar­den­ing and mu­sic ses­sions were shown to have ben­e­fited both age groups dur­ing the pro­ject at Stirling Univer­sity.

The aca­demics now plan a ma­jor study to see if such an ap­proach can help tackle lone­li­ness in adults with de­men­tia.

Dur­ing six pi­lot ses­sions the chil­dren, aged be­tween two and five, and the adults car­ried out a range of shared ac­tiv­i­ties. The re­search team watched how the dif­fer­ent age groups in­ter­acted dur­ing ac­tiv­i­ties which in­cluded singing songs to­gether and car­ry­ing out tasks such as pot­ting a plant.

Early results sug­gested that the mood and well­be­ing of the adults and the chil­dren im­proved af­ter the ses­sions.

The study leader, Stirling Univer­sity psy­chol­ogy lec­turer Dr Line Caes, said: ‘We found the ses­sions were en­joy­able to both the adults liv­ing with de­men­tia and the young chil­dren, with the gar­den­ing ses­sion prov­ing the most pop­u­lar.’

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