According to a story on ABC Lateline last night up to 6,000 elderly peole could be dying prematurely each year because of widespread over-prescription of powerful drugs to dementia patients in nursing homes. (Tony Jones, Presenter Lateline. Broadcast 16/08/2012. View the story here.)
The SMILE Study, conducted by Unversity of NSW's Dementia Collaborative Research Centre (DCRC), showed humour therapy was as effective as widely used anti-psychotic drugs in managing agitation experienced by people living dementia, but without the side effects.
"Humour Therapy should be considered as a non-pharmacalogical strategy before commencing pharmacotherapy for the treatment of agitation in residential care." (Low, LF et al. The SMILE Study. National Dementia Research Forum Conference Abstract, Sydney, 23 Deptember 2011)
Play Up is a precise implementation of the Humour Therapy intervention used in The SMILE Study. Play Up has emerged from The SMILE Study to become the leading individualised Humour Therapy intervention nation-wide.
Thank you to the 50+ residential aged care facilities nation-wide putting progressive dementia care strategies into practice by providing Play Up Humour Therapy to their residents. there are often negative stories about aged care and dementia in the press but our experience in bringing alternatives, like humour therapy, to people living with dementia is full of joy and offers hope that life can continue to be meaningful and fun.