Physical activity improves wellbeing of patients with young onset dementia

Led by Dr Jacqui Hussey (Wokingham Memory Clinic) and Charlie Draper, a group of delegates focused on how physical activity can help people under 65 years diagnosed with Young Onset Dementia (YOD) who often experience a more rapid decline in cognition and quality of life at a time when they may have expected to be in employment and have an active social life. With their carers, they find that lack of appropriate activities are resulting in social isolation, apathy, a decline in health and increased risk of behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia.

The group shared case studies illustrating how physical activity reduces psychological and behavioural disturbance in dementia and debated the best model to provide opportunity for exercise.

Conclusions were:

  • We should put ourselves in these peoples’ shoes when designing programmes – and provide programmes for carers too
  • Engagement and sustainability is as important as the activity
  • More training is needed, particularly in clubs and leisure centres, to learn how to interact with YOD patients

Do you agree with the outcomes? could more be done? Let us know by commenting below.