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 Elizabeth. 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.
Nursing Home Care and the Elderly - I Thought We Had a Contract
Alzheimer’s disease is an extremely sad and difficult condition to work with. This disease is very difficult on the family members in Elizabeth. 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.
Community Resources for Older Adult Services
CRS is, of course, an acronym for can't remember stuff. Memory is the second thing to go when we age; I used to know what the first one was, but I can't think of it right now. As a practitioner you have no doubt run across older patients who have problems with memory and concentration; and some who have actual dementia.
Mark Goodman Ph.D. believes that many patients diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease actually have dementia caused by a lack of vitamin B12. Dr. Goodman has an accredited Ph.D. in behavioral medicine (with a specialization in clinical neuropsychology) from the University of Maryland School of Medicine.
Dr. Goodman is quoted in an interview by Kirk Hamilton that appeared in Clinical Pearls. Dr. Goodman says, " I initially suspected vitamin B12 limits were too low, when I encountered on consultation, geriatric patients admitted with Alzheimer's diagnosis whose frontal lobe functioning was obviously intact. This is inconsistent with Alzheimer's diagnosis. They were exhibiting other global neuropsychological deficits with a systemic/metabolic profile. They were all following cardiac lipid- lowering diets."
He went on to say that he believed that there are many elderly individuals who are sub clinically B12 deficient. Many times these patients have normal blood levels of B12. He points out that people who are B12 deficient experience neurological changes before there is changes in their blood count (pernicious anemia) and that a good dietary history is an important part of the evaluation. According to Dr. Goodman, "In the convalescent facility diet there is little red meat due to expense and the desire to have residents on a lipid lowering regime. Also, there is a normal increase in gastric atrophy in the elderly which reduces vitamin B12 absorption. Thirdly, there is a down-regulation of the enzymes required for the formation and the manufacture of vitamin B12 when less vitamin B12 is consumed." Dr. Goodman points out that if there is no frontal lobe degeneration, the dementia is not Alzheimer's disease.
Dr. Goodman says that high doses of vitamin B12 are without any serious adverse side-effects. Some reports of reversible symptoms of diarrhea, cutaneous rash, polycythemia and possibly peripheral vascular thrombosis, but these are minor and reversible.
Curcumin is an antioxidant found in turmeric. Turmeric is a perennial plant, botanically related to ginger that is native to India, China and Indonesia. It is a component of curry powder and prepared mustard. It is used in traditional Chinese medicine and in Indian (Ayurvedic) medicine for its anti-inflammatory properties. The lowest incidence of Alzheimer's disease in the world is in villages in India. Only about 1% of Indians over the age of 65 get the disease. So, perhaps the consumption of curry may be the reason that there are so few cases of Alzheimer's disease. Curcumin, found in turmeric, has been shown to fight the build up of the amyloid plaques found in Alzheimer's disease. Dr. Sally Frautschy, of the University of California, Los Angeles, presented these findings at the 2005 annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in San Diego, California. Her paper was entitled: Curcumin Reduces Oxidative Damage and Amyloid Pathology in an Alzheimer Transgenic Mouse.
So the things that work for keeping the mind sharp are the same things that work for everything else. You need fresh produce as a source of natural antioxidants, good essential fatty acids, avoid trans fats, exercise and eliminate toxins.
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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.