Treatment methods

Dementia treatment: We take people with dementia seriously as a person

Treating dementia – to do this, we have a range of non-drug forms of treatment and newly developed drugs available. In this way, we can delay the progression of cognitive disorders and counteract the loss of everyday life skills. 

The treatment is based on three pillars:
  • Drug treatment
  • Psychological interventions
  • Ecological and social interventions

Conservative treatment methods

Drug therapy

The goal of drug treatment of dementia diseases has been to alleviate the symptoms of the disease and to improve quality of life. The drug memantine and three so-called cholinesterase inhibitors (donepezil, galantamine, rivastigmine) are approved for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. These affect the nerve carriers, which in turn are important for memory.

Psychological interventions

There are many other active forms of dementia treatment that can have a positive effect on coping with the disease, well-being and the quality of life of those affected and their caregivers. 

Help with dementia in the initial stage: 
  • Behavioural competence training (VKT)
    Here, patients are helped to manage stress, to mobilize personal resources and to counteract depressive symptoms.
  • Validation
    An attempt is made here to understand and reflect the needs of those affected in an objective way.
  • Self-preservation therapy (SET) 
  • Biography-oriented memory therapy
    Personal identity, continuity and coherent trains of thought are the focus.
  • Music, dance and painting therapy
    New routes of communication are opened here.

Ecological and social interventions

A material environment that adapts to the course of the disease is ideal for patients suffering from dementia. It should have both a protective and stimulating character. This can be done through a warm home atmosphere, adjusted lighting and temperature, a stimulating soundscape and pleasant scents. The environment should be clear so that the patients can orient themselves well. There should be sufficient freedom of movement and opportunities to retreat. Social contacts and visits from relatives are also important. Contact with animals is good for dementia patients and conveys a zest for life. 

Self-preservation therapy (SET) for the preservation of the "self”

The aim of this care concept is to preserve the "self" of the patients. The "self" is needed to receive, process and maintain information about one's own person and the environment. It creates the prerequisites for predicting the development of situations, making decisions, adopting attitudes and orienting oneself. It depends on the self-esteem, self-assurance and self-reliance of one's own person. A stable "self" has a positive influence on the self-esteem and identity and thus also conditionally on one’s mood and behaviour. 

At our Alzheimer’s Therapy Centre at Schoen Clinic Bad Aibling, we successfully practice SET as part of a four-week inpatient treatment program. This is aimed at both the dementia patient as well as the person looking after the patient. In addition to SET, the focus is on diagnosis verification and drug therapy. There are also individual and group therapies as well as counselling sessions on topics such as planning everyday living or external help.