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How many of you have spent nights rocking or soothing a fretful baby? Researchers have found that rocking chairs may help calm anxiety and relieve depression in older adults with dementia as well.
Nancy Watson of the University of Rochester, and colleagues studied 25 nursing home residents with dementia and found that those who rocked themselves exhibited fewer symptoms of anxiety, such as crying and depression.
In addition, those who frequented the rocking chairs the most, requested the least pain medication.
“It’s been well documented with infants that a gentle repetitive motion has a soothing effect, “Watson said. We’ve shown that the same is true in an older population that is emotionally distressed.” Rocking is also a worthwhile mild form of exercise.