This article describes a series of evidence-based interventions designed to increase physical activity in persons with mild cognitive impairment and dementia with a view to improving physical function and improving mood while slowing the progression of cognitive decline. These exercise programmes, collectively termed the Seattle Protocols, are systematic, evidence-based approaches. Their focus is on the importance of ensuring regular exercise is a pleasant activity. They teach cognitively impaired participants and their carers the behavioural and problem-solving strategies to establish and maintain realistic and enjoyable exercise goals. Initial evidence from randomized controlled clinical trials is apparently promising and indicates that the Seattle Protocols are beneficial.
Positive Activities and Exercise
Evidence indicates a range of ideas including:
- Exercises: gentle stretching, strength training, balance and endurance.
- Pleasant activities: developing an understanding of each person’s likes and interests, helping to engage him/her in the exercise or activity.
- Problem-solving: asking the person to suggest how to make their exercise activity more enjoyable or effective.
Teri, L. Logsdon, RG. [and] McCurry, SM. (2008). Exercise interventions for dementia and cognitive impairment: the Seattle Protocols. The Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging, June-July 2008, Vol.12(6), pp.391-4. (Click here to view the PubMed abstract).