To help manage these common symptoms of dementia like depression, anxiety or agitation, a non-drug therapy may be offered.

The type of therapy will depend on local availability and the individual’s preference, and might include:

  • cognitive behavioural therapies (CBT)
  • aromatherapy
  • music therapy or dancing
  • animal-assisted therapy
  • massage
  • multi-sensory stimulation.

Activities the person can engage with and enjoy might also help.

These could include reminiscence therapy, spending time outside, and singing.

Some people with dementia may find one of these therapies helpful and there is some research that suggests they can be beneficial.

A person’s response to these therapies should be carefully monitored and the approach changed if needed.

These therapies can be provided by a healthcare professional with appropriate training.

You can speak with your doctor about whether these therapies would be suitable for you, or someone you know who has dementia.

You can find out more about complementary therapies on pages 10-14 of our booklet here.


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Order health information

Alzheimer’s Research UK has a wide range of information about dementia. Order booklets or download them from our online form.

Treatments for dementia

Read more about treatments for dementia, including information on treating depression, anxiety and agitation and for information on antipsychotics.

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Dementia Research Infoline

Do you have questions about treatments for Alzheimer's disease? Keen to get involved in research studies to trial new treatments?

Contact the Dementia Research Infoline

9am-5pm, Monday to Friday

0300 111 5 111