Improving Function and Quality of Life in People with Dementia

The Preventing Loss of Independence through Exercise (PLIÉ, pronounced PLEE-AY) program is a new exercise program created specially for people with memory loss, Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. It focuses on activities that people can do even with memory loss.

This includes:

1) Training ‘muscle memory.’ The body can still learn to perform sequences of movements to support daily function (e.g., sitting, standing and balancing), even when there is no awareness of learning.

2) Mindful body awareness. Paying attention to breathing and in-the-moment bodily sensations may help orient people with memory loss to the present moment and may help reduce feelings of anxiety about the past or future.

3) Social connection. As memory declines, in-the-moment social connections with others become increasingly important. Moving as a group, including moving with music, may help increase feelings of well-being.

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