Putting a loved one in a nursing home is a difficult decision regardless of the circumstances. In the case of Alzheimer’s, most research shows that at some point in the progression of the disease a nursing home becomes the right decision for the family in Montville. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, there are nearly 2 million people currently living in some form of nursing home. Over 90% of these residents are over 65 years old and most require 24 hour supervision due to some physical limitation or dementia.
Alzheimer's Care: Understanding Memory Loss
Alzheimer’s disease is an extremely sad and difficult condition to work with. This disease is very difficult on the family members in Montville. Just thinking that as the days slip by your aging loved one will soon become more and more distant. This can be very depressing and an emotional time for most family caregivers. Besides the common emotion of depression, most family members often feel angry, frustrated, and even at a loss for words.
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As our parents get older, we often start to notice that they are forgetting to do simple daily activities or even forgetting things from the past. This memory loss can lead to Alzheimer's or dementia. While memory loss is common with seniors, it is does not happen in all (or even most) cases. Most people can cite examples of elderly loved ones they know who are in their late 80s or even into their 90s and still have vivid memories going all the way back to their childhood.
The fact that some elderly people have been able to retain sharp memories while others experience memory loss has led scientists to study memory loss in further detail in hopes of discovering what physical and mental factors contribute to loss of memory and what is necessary to prevent it. So far, scientists have made some interesting findings.
When Does Memory Loss Begin?
Scientists believe that memory loss begins in most people toward the end of middle age and as they approach retirement. During this period, the brain begins to lose cells at a rate of 1% per year. 1% may not seem like much, and at first it may not be noticeable. But 1% compounded year after year becomes a noticeable loss in brain mass as people get further into their retirement years.
It should be noted that this is only an educated theory and does not apply universally. There are certainly those with lower levels of education and careers that don't require heavy use of the brain that still retain good memories into retirement. On the other hand, there are also people who were well educated and/or had mentally taxing careers that still develop Alzheimer's or dementia and will need Alzheimer's Care. Former U.S. President Ronald Reagan is a prime example of the latter group.
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Music Activities Help Seniors Emotional Health
Music activities for seniors in nursing homes and other care facilities can help their emotional and psychological needs. Music, songs, singing and playing instruments all contribute to creative expression and stimulation, as well as group participation. Seniors in geriatric and palliative care can benefit from a vibrant music program. Alzheimer's and other dementia are conditions with affects at least partially alleviated with music activities for seniors.
Music can be a good therapeutic tool. There comes a time when the physical needs of the elderly are not enough. They need to be kept entertained and stimulated. A program with music activities for seniors will enable them to be creative, expressive and more communicative. This contributes to a healthier sense of well being, thereby helping to dispel depression, loneliness and frustration. Music used for these purposes can and should include their preferences. But using their less preferred choices as experimental options to explore music, sound, vibration, and instruments can stir excitement and joy from the unexpected and previously unexplored. Provide a wide variety of music so that the residents can get a rich musical experience.
In addition to playing instruments to create music other music activities for seniors in nursing homes should include singing along to songs, and some elderly people with good mobility may also enjoy dancing. This is another good music activity for seniors that allows for some creative self expression. The movement is good and healthy for exercise and can add another element to music enjoyment.