Rocking chair therapy for dementia patients: Its effect on psychosocial well-being and balance

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The use of platform style rocking chairs to improve psychological well-being and balance of nursing home residents with dementia was studied. Despite significant cognitive impairment, most medically stable unrestrained residents accepted the chairs and learned to actively rock. During the six week program, residents were able to rock an average of 101 minutes per day. Using a cross-over design (n=25), there were improvements in depression/anxiety and reductions in PRN pain medication significantly related to amount of rocking. Those who liked rocking and wanted to continue it at the end of the study also demonstrated significant improvements in balance as measured by center of gravity.

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