A 54-year old female, retired due to progressive cognitive decline, was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s dementia. Conventional medication therapy for dementia had proven futile. Initial evaluation revealed a non-verbal female seated in a wheelchair, dependent on 2-person assist for all transfers and activities of daily living (ADLs.) She had been either non-responsive or actively resistive for both ADLs and transfers in the 6 months prior to assessment. Following a total of 17 one hour therapy sessions over 19 weeks in a warm water therapy pool, she achieved ability to tread water for 15 minutes, transfers improved to moderate to-maximum assist from seated, ambulation improved to 1000’ with minimum-to-moderate assist of 2 persons. Communication increased to appropriate “yes,” “no,” and “OK” appropriate responses, occasional “thank you” and “very nice.” The authors propose that her clinical progress may be related to her aquatic therapy intervention.
Aquatic therapy, Alzheimer’s disease, Dementia, Hydrotherapy,