You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

breaking news

Fireworks recall underway over ‘burn hazard,’ could explode unexpectedly

New Alzheimer’s therapy developed by WSU prof spreading across US


Three years ago, Wright State University professor Govind Bharwani was given a challenge: Find a way to help people living with Alzheimer’s disease so they are less prone to becoming confused, agitated, withdrawn and falling.

Today, the breakthrough therapy he created has won five national awards, spread to 14 institutions in three states and there is a six-month waiting list for those wishing to implement it.

The therapy works by providing each person with their own “memory box” filled with family photos, books and movies they love and other special items. Videos and music from “soothing libraries” are also selected specifically for the patient and games and puzzles are available to stimulate their brains. The therapy is unique because it is customized for each individual and does not involve the use of drugs.

“This has an impact on their quality of life,” Bharwani said of the program, called “behavior-based ergonomics therapy.” “The purpose of it is to not only benefit the residents but the caregivers, as well.”

It started with a request from the St. Leonard Franciscan Living Community in Centerville for a new way to treat residents with dementia. The community was seeing too many falls among residents and frustration among the staff. Within six months using the new therapy, the rate of falls was reduced by one-third and the use of anti-psychotic medications was cut by 65 percent.

“It made a tremendous difference,” said Terri Walker, director of memory support services.

“The biggest challenge is trying to understand each resident who has dementia,” Walker said. “They can’t express their needs.”

With a sheet on each resident that describes what music, videos, games and other therapies they like best, the staff can easily respond to the first signs of stress and redirect them with the prescribed therapy. For instance, it only took a few minutes for nursing assistant Laura Spain to set resident Naomi up with her favorite video of zoo babies, and Naomi could watch the video for 30 to 60 minutes. After such a therapy session, the patient is typically calmed for four hours, Bharwani said.

“They start eating better, they start sleeping better and they start bathing better,” said Bharwani, an adjunct professor of biomedical engineering.

The therapy is more effective than a group activity, which can work for some patients and not others, but also does not require much one-on-one time from staff, he said. The St. Leonard’s staff has used the therapies 15,000 times since the program was created in 2010. Although the therapy was pioneered in Dayton, it is spreading around the world. In the United States alone, 5.4 million people are living with Alzheimer’s disease, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.

Wright State is now exploring how the therapy could be used for people living with dementia and Alzheimer’s at home with the university’s neuroscience department, the Alzheimer’s Association and project coordinator Meena Bharwani, who helps implement the program and trains staff with her father.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in News

Rebert Pike closed for culvert repair
Rebert Pike closed for culvert repair

Rebert Pike between Old Mill Road and South Tecumseh Road in Mad River Twp. will be closed to through traffic today between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. TODAY’S FORECAST: Warming up today, potential storms on Thursday A culvert is being repaired, according to the Clark County Engineer’s Department. The road is expected to re-open at 3 p.m, but construction...
Ten Commandments monument destroyed in less than 24 hours after installation
Ten Commandments monument destroyed in less than 24 hours after installation

A two year battle came to an end in Little Rock, Arkansas, on Tuesday, but the controversy over a monument to the Ten Commandments has not. In less than 24 hours after the installation of the monument, someone destroyed the display by knocking it down, breaking chunks of granite off, KARK reported. >> Read more trending news  The Ten...
'Cash me ousside' girl faces trial on juvenile charges today
'Cash me ousside' girl faces trial on juvenile charges today

Danielle Bregoli, the Boynton Beach, Florida, teenager who became an internet celebrity for the phrase “Cash me ousside," will try to keep herself out of juvenile jail as she heads to court Wednesday for a trial on five charges. Bregoli, 14, pleaded not guilty last month to four charges of theft and a charge of charge of filing...
Sausage helps bring missing pups home
Sausage helps bring missing pups home

Drones couldn’t do it, and neither could 120 searchers. But the smell of cooking sausages was apparently the key to bringing two lost dogs home. John Hampson was on a walk with his family’s two miniature schnauzers when the dogs ran off in thick fog on Red Pike fell near Buttermere, Cumbria, U.K. >> Read more trending news Liz and...
7 things to know now: Manafort registers as agent; health care vote; Palin sues NY Times
7 things to know now: Manafort registers as agent; health care vote; Palin sues NY Times

Here's a roundup of news trending across the nation and the world today. What to know now: 1. Manafort registers as agent: Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, registered on Tuesday with the Justice Department as a foreign agent. Manafort registered with the department for political consulting work he did for the ruling...
More Stories