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Friday, January 21, 2011

Center Focuses On Treating Alzheimer's By Comforting Residents, Not Medicating Them

Eleven million Americans take care of someone with Alzheimer’s disease and two-thirds of all people living in nursing homes have some form of dementia. With so many people dealing with the disease, a center in Phoenix, Ariz. has gained national attention for its groundbreaking approach in treating people with Alzheimer’s.

Beatitudes Campus focuses on providing comfort, instead of medication. In some cases, they’ve found chocolate is more effective at calming distressed residents than medications like Xanax. If residents want to carry a baby doll or eat dinner in the middle of the night, they’re allowed.

The approach is based on scientific research that shows providing a calming environment is an effective therapy for people suffering from dementia. Peggy Mullen, CEO of Beatitudes Campus, and May Vance, whose mother-in-law lives at Beatitudes, join us.

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Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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