Weighted blankets help calm patients

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In their effort to utilize more holistic methods to treat their clients with dementia, clinicians at American Senior Communities are turning to some unconventional but effective treatments.

Weighted blankets, it turns out, have turned out to be a good solution for seniors who may be suffering anxiety or confusion associated with dementia.

"A weighted blanket is a way of giving somebody almost a constant hug," says Melanie Perry of American Senior Communities.

It is a more natural approach for clients and American Senior Community clinicians are happy because it helps reduce the use of psychotropic drugs.

"We are looking at reducing those medications those people with dementia, knowing that psychotropic medication, specifically anti-psychotic medication can have a realm of very challenging side effects: increased falls, increased anxiety, increased confusion in some individuals," says Melanie Perry.

The blankets come in different sizes and weights.  Clinicians want the patient to experience a kind of swaddling effect but not to feel smothered or overheated. The weighted blankets may not work for every person every time. But for some they are effective at bringing calm...Maybe even sleep.

"It helps to mitigate those symptoms. It helps the person to feel more comfortable in their own skin, if you will. And it helps them feel more at ease with the world around them," says Perry.

For more on memory care at American Senior Communities click on the link below.


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