Friday, February 8, 2013

Entertainment, music and residents with dementia

A faithful, loving husband, cuddles his wife in LTC
What saddens me are the negative comments by those who are creating myths around the tragedy of long-term care. For many of us, it is a place we must choose for loved ones. How a loved one behaves with dementia varies with the person.

I read an article on music and dementia patients. Best Music for Dementia Patients
They begin with a quote:

  In  his 2007 book “Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain,” the famed neurologist and author Oliver Sacks wrote, “People with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias can respond to music when nothing else reaches them. Alzheimer’s can totally destroy the ability to remember family members or events from one’s own life—but musical memory somehow survives the ravages of disease, and even in people with advanced dementia, music can often reawaken personal memories and associations that are otherwise lost.”

I volunteer in long-term care.

I am always amazed at the various entertainers they have in, from bands, to musicians, to quilters, a Victorian fashion show, all with activity aides who engage and challenge residents to get up and go.

BJ Hughes, entertainer, pianist
I walked into a lounge the other day. There were three husbands sitting, watching TV with their three wives, residents with dementia. They were a good group of supportive husbands, relaxing, knowing their wives are safe and well-cared for.
The Pines, Bracebridge

The residents I visit are mostly people rural from farming communities. They often have musicians in to play country music, as that is their favourite. You can see them dancing and moving in their wheelchairs and having a grand time. Those with instruments play, others tap their toes.
Young men in to entertain

There is joy, yet a new website I've found,
Music and states,
"No one wants to end up alone and isolated in a nursing home. It’s hard enough to lose someone you love to Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. It’s terrifying to think you could end up there yourself, someday."
How negative can you get? They are a non-profit, and they write to capture bleeding heart  donors.
 The claims for using iPods with residents:
  • Finally, a way to give pleasure to persons with dementia
  • Offers an enjoyable, fulfilling activity for persons in dialysis, on vent or bed-bound
  • Increases cooperation and attention, reduces resistance to care—a real boost for staff morale
  • Reduces agitation and sundowning
  • Enhances engagement and socialization, fostering a calmer social environment
  • Provides a valuable too for the effort to reduce reliance on anti-psychotic and anti-anxiety medications

Learn about the benefits of music for dementia patients. Get tips about finding the best songs for dementia therapy so you can create playlist for your loved one.

  1. Mood Enhancing Music: Personally Meaningful Songs and Familiar Old Favorites
  2. Stimulating Music: Pop Songs From Their Salad Days
  3. Soothing Music for Agitation Management
  4. Connection and Comfort Music: Sing-Along Classics

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