Music allows patients who are normally shut off from the world to participate in enjoyable activities and connect with loved ones. It may also sooth agitation and smooth out other behavioral issues.
Music Has Power
I’ve read several articles recently about the connection between music and Alzheimer’s patients, and all of them agree that music has power. An article on the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America website states that “[music] can spark compelling outcomes even in the very late stages of the disease.” It goes on to explain how music allows patients who are normally shut off from the world to connect with loved ones and to participate in enjoyable activities. Music is also a valuable tool in managing agitation and other behavioral issues. (more…)
Unless you’re a brand new visitor to my blog (and if you are, welcome!), you know that I cared for my parents for many years and that they both went home to be with the Lord in the last couple of years. Dad passed away on May 13, 2011, and Mom followed him on May 20 of this year. I was close to both of them, but especially to Mom, and on May 30 I wrote a post about how much I miss her. It’s become my most popular post, getting almost 1,800 views to date, almost three times as many as my previous favorite about why old people smell bad. (more…)
I almost began this post with I haven’t written much in the last week or so, but that’s not really accurate. I’ve written a lot: agendas for meetings; e-mails announcing meetings and encouraging people to attend; copy for flyers, posters and the church website; more e-mails answering questions. Our church is hosting an area-wide ladies’ conference in January, and our pastor asked me to coordinate the event. If I could re-wind to that moment when I said Sure, why not, I might think again before answering.
Seriously, I’m enjoying the experience, and the response from people who are willing to help has been amazing, but it’s also amazing how much time and focus is required. Something else that is amazing is how, in spite of no longer being directly involved with Alzheimer’s and being totally focused on something other than my writings about caring for those with the disease, I am still faced with Alzheimer’s again and again. (more…)
Have you ever made a bad decision? What about that used car that the guy assured you was in mint condition, or those expensive designer shoes that hurt your feet just a little bit, or that boyfriend you forgave because he swore she was just a friend. Yeah, we’ve all had lapses in judgment from time to time, but people with Alzheimer’s take “decreased or poor judgment” to a whole new level: (more…)
I spent most of my working life in the business world. I started in the file department of the First National Bank in Dallas and ended as an account rep for a company that designs and manufactures furniture and equipment for the salon and spa industry. I had titles that included, among others, stenographer, secretary, executive secretary, administrative assistant, and office manager. The bottom line was that people paid me a lot of money to keep them organized, to find what they needed when they needed it, and I was very good at what I did. When I got home, however, I wasn’t always so organized. I’ve spent as much time as anyone searching for my lost keys, the misplaced remote control or the bill that’s due tomorrow and was right here a minute ago. But when it comes to warning sign #7, misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps, no one could match Mom for originality and creativity. The official definition of this sign is: (more…)
As a writer, I sometimes have trouble finding the right word for what I’m trying to say. Sometimes I refer to my Thesaurus, but I have to admit that sometimes I rewrite a sentence to use a word I can remember. I also have problems finding the correct word when I’m talking, but according to the Alzheimer’s Association, that’s a typical age-related change. If I start to have the following new problems with words in speaking or writing, then I have reason for concern: (more…)
If It’s Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium is a movie released in the late 60s about a nine-country, eighteen-day bus trip from London to Rome. If you’ve ever been on one of those whirlwind tours, you know the disorienting feeling of waking up with no idea of where you are or what day it is. In fact, if you’re retired and are no longer tied to a work schedule, you may experience that in your own home from time to time. You may worry that this is a sign of the big “A,” but according to the Alzheimer’s Association, if by the time you’ve washed your face and had your first cup of coffee, the fog has lifted, you have nothing to worry about. The confusion of time or place that may be a warning sign is described like this: (more…)
I received a letter from the Alzheimer’s Association this week. It was an acknowledgement of a gift made in honor of Mom by my sweet mother-in-law Betty. The timing was perfect since Monday was Mom’s birthday, and September is World Alzheimer’s Month. The back of the letter was devoted to an article titled “10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s disease.” An article in our local paper about Alzheimer’s Month listed several ways to observe the month, one of which was to speak up about the disease. I can’t speak with authority about causes, treatment, cure, research, numbers affected, or what’s on the horizon in relation to this insidious disease, but I can speak about my experience, so I’m devoting my next several posts to the warning signs. (more…)