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Sunday, May 31, 2009

Two French songs for those with dementia

Activities directors, other healthcare professionals and caregivers, here are the words to two French songs those with dementia will love just in time for Cananda Day

Alouette

Alouette, gentille Alouette
Alouette je te plumerai
Alouette, gentille Alouette
Alouette je te plumerai
Je te plumerai la tete
Je te plumerai la tete
Et la tte, et la tete
Alouette, Alouette
O-o-o-o-oh
Alouette, gentille Alouette
Alouette je te plumerai

Alouette, gentille Alouette
Alouette je te plumerai
Alouette, gentille Alouette
Alouette je te plumerai
Je te plumerai le nez
Je te plumerai le nez
Et le nez, et le nez
Alouette, Alouette
O-o-o-o-oh
Alouette, gentille Alouette
Alouette je te plumerai

Alouette, gentille Alouette
Alouette je te plumerai
Alouette, gentille Alouette
Alouette je te plumerai
Je te plumerai les yeux
Je te plumerai les yeux
Et les yeux, et les yeux
Alouette, Alouette
O-o-o-o-oh
Alouette, gentille Alouette
Alouette je te plumerai

Alouette, gentille Alouette
Alouette je te plumerai
Alouette, gentille Alouette
Alouette je te plumerai
Je te plumerai le cou
Je te plumerai le cou
Et le cou, et le cou
Alouette, Alouette
O-o-o-o-oh
Alouette, gentille Alouette
Alouette je te plumerai

Alouette, gentille Alouette
Alouette je te plumerai
Alouette, gentille Alouette
Alouette je te plumerai
Je te plumerai les ailes
Je te plumerai les ailes
Et les ailes, et les ailes
Alouette, Alouette
O-o-o-o-oh
Alouette, gentille Alouette
Alouette je te plumerai

Alouette, gentille Alouette
Alouette je te plumerai
Alouette, gentille Alouette
Alouette je te plumerai
Je te plumerai le dos
Je te plumerai le dos
Et le dos, et le dos
Alouette, Alouette
O-o-o-o-oh
Alouette, gentille Alouette
Alouette je te plumerai

Alouette, gentille Alouette
Alouette je te plumerai
Alouette, gentille Alouette
Alouette je te plumerai
Je te plumerai les pattes
Je te plumerai les pattes
Et les pattes, et les pattes
Alouette, Alouette
O-o-o-o-oh
Alouette, gentille Alouette
Alouette je te plumerai

Alouette, gentille Alouette
Alouette je te plumerai
Alouette, gentille Alouette
Alouette je te plumerai
Je te plumerai la queue
Je te plumerai la queue
Et la queue, et la queue
Alouette, Alouette
O-o-o-o-oh
Alouette, gentille Alouette
Alouette je te plumerai

English Translation: Alouette means "Lark", so you will find it is much harder to sing this song in English since "lark" has only one syllable, while Alouette has four. The song is actually about "plucking" the feathers (plumage) from a lark, presumably in preparation for cooking. A lark is considered to be a small "game bird" (a game bird is a bird considered to be suitable for food, like the coot, dove, grouse, hazel hen, mud hen, partridge, pigeon, plover, quail, rail, snipe, thrush, and woodcock).
Lark, nice Lark (or Lark, lovely Lark)
Lark, I am going to pluck you
I am going to pluck your head,
I am going to pluck your head,
And the head, and the head,
O-o-o-o-oh

All the verses are the same except the part of the body.
The usual ones are
La tete - the head
Le nez - the nose
Les yeux - the eyes
Le cou - the neck
Les ailes - the wings
Le dos - the back
Les pattes - the legs
Le queue - the tail


Frère Jacques

Frère Jacques,
Frère Jacques,
Dormez vous?
Dormez vous?
Sonnez les matines,
Sonnez les matines,
Din, din, don!
Din, din, don!


English Version:


Are you sleeping,
Are you sleeping?
Brother John?
Brother John?
Morning bells are ringing,
Morning bells are ringing,
Ding ding dong,
Ding ding dong.

For a great resource for those with dementia, caregivers and healthcare professinals, click here


For information on being the best caregiver you can be, click here


For more interesting dementia articles and activities, click here

Friday, May 29, 2009

Activities

Activities directors, other healthcare professionals and caregivers here is something that might interest you
Alzheimer's Association

Introduction
For the person with Alzheimer's, activities structure the time. Activities also can enhance a person's sense of dignity and self-esteem by giving purpose and meaning to his or her life.

Planning activities should focus on the:

Person

Activity

Approach

Place

Focus on the person
Activities should be appropriate to the person and reflect his or her interests.

Keep the person's skills and abilities in mind

Pay special attention to what the person enjoys

Consider if the person begins activities without direction

Be aware of physical problems

Choosing an activity
Well-planned activities can improve the quality of life of those with dementia.

Focus on enjoyment, not achievement

Encourage involvement in daily life

Relate to past work life

Look for favorites

Change activities as needed

Consider the time of day

Adjust activities to stages of the disease

Your approach
Your approach to activities can bring.........read the whole thing

For a great resource for those with dementia, caregivers and healthcare professinals, click here


For information on being the best caregiver you can be, click here


For more interesting dementia articles and activities, click here

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Dementia and Music

Activities directors, other healthcare professionals and caregivers, here is an inspiring article
By Jane Dreaper
BBC News health correspondent

The writer and broadcaster, John Suchet, is backing a project which uses music to help people with dementia.

Suchet who revealed earlier this year that his wife Bonnie has the condition, is backing the Music for Life project.

The scheme has been running on a small scale for more than 15 years, but is now going into partnership with the prestigious Wigmore Hall in London.

Each course costs £6,500 to run. The partnership means the work will be able to expand.

I went to one of the project's workshops at Westmead residential home in west London.

It was the culmination of eight weekly sessions.

Three musicians - playing the cello, clarinet and viola - performed one hour's music.

Usually they play in orchestras - but during this interactive session, the audience of eight residents and their carers is expected to work as hard as the musicians.

The point is to use music to build up communication with the dementia patients.

Demanding option

David Hirschman, who plays the viola, said: "It's very demanding. It's certainly not an easy option. But it's also......read the whole article

For a great resource for those with dementia, caregivers and healthcare professinals, click here


For information on being the best caregiver you can be, click here


For more interesting dementia articles and activities, click here

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Board Games for Senior Citizens: Interview with Susan Berg

LoveToKnow Board Games
Activities directors, other healthcare professionals and caregivers,here is an interview you might be interested in
What are some simple board games that the elderly might enjoy?
The elderly might enjoy Checkers, Sorry, Parcheesi. The State Capital Game looks like something they may enjoy Chutes and Ladders, Scrabble, and trivia games. There are probably more.

Why is it important that the elderly play board games?
It is important for the elderly to play board games because these games keep their minds active and they foster socialization with their piers, friends, and family.

Are there any games that should probably be avoided?
Each person is different. If a game is too frustrating for an individual, it should be avoided. I like to work with people's strengths and interests. For example, if a person is visually impaired, you would not want to play a game where he would have to read small print or use small pieces unless, of course, you can give him the assistance he needs. You want him to enjoy and feel good about himself while playing the game.

How can family members and friends help older people with the frustration of playing a new game?
Give them plenty of instruction.
Break the directions down into small simple steps.
Have them be your partner when you play the game.
Play the game in short segments at first.
Try to compensate for any deficits they may have.
[edit]Do you have any other tips and advice you'd like to add?
I like the....read the whole interview

For a great resource for those with dementia, caregivers and healthcare professinals, click here


For information on being the best caregiver you can be, click here


For more interesting dementia articles and activities, click here

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A 'light bulb' moment for people with dementia

Activities directors, other healthcare professionals and caregivers, read the following article for some valuable insight
GEN
EUREKALERT

Contact: Susan Griffith
susan.griffith@case.edu
216-368-1004
Case Western Reserve University

CLEVELAND Change the lighting; improve your health. It's a strategy researchers from Case Western Reserve University's Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing and the School of Medicine, the Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center at the Louis Stokes Cleveland Veterans Affairs Medical Center (GRECC), Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's Lighting Research Center and GE Consumer & Industrial have begun to test in a long-term care facility where daylight, which has proven health benefits, is not readily available.

The researchers removed some standard fluorescent lighting and installed new blue-white lamp prototypes developed by GE scientists at the company's Nela Park campus.

Research team members hypothesize that periods of blue light, like daylight, can help regulate the sleep-wake rhythm, which is a behavioral pattern linked to the 24-hour biochemical circadian cycle of the hormone melatonin. Depending on the level of the hormone, people are awake or sleepy.

The researchers want to regulate the sleep-wake cycle by regulating the amount of exposure to blue-white (wakefulness) and yellow-white (sleepiness) light. By increasing exposure to blue-white light during the day and yellow-white light in the evening, researchers hope to help patients regulate their sleep-wake cycles so that they are more awake during the day and more asleep at night.

Patricia Higgins, associate professor at the Bolton School of Nursing and one of the lead investigators, says the project may prove to be especially beneficial for people suffering from dementia.

In a recently conducted pilot study with five male patients, each suffering from dementia and living in a long-term care facility, researchers installed the blue-white lights in an activities room where most residents gathered for meals and daytime activities.

"We wanted to see whether lighting could affect the participants' sleep-wake rhythms," says Higgins. "While the group was small, the results show promise in raising activity levels during daytime hours and increasing sleep at nighttime."

The researchers plan a larger study with residents with dementia at two Northeast Ohio long-term care facilities. The study will include men and women to see if light impacts the genders differently. An unexpected side effect of the lighting is that once adjusted to the blue-white light, most employees reported that they liked the new lighting conditions.

For a number of decades it has been known that light affects how people feel. Those particularly sensitive to changes in light have benefited from a boost in the brightness of light sources. The new lighting used in the test changes the color without overpowering individuals with brightness, according to the researchers.

"Why waste light if you can tune it to the right color and maximize the amount of useful light," says Mariana Figueiro, assistant professor at Rensselaer and program director at Rensselaer's Lighting Research Center."Light is a good stimulus for the circadian system, which regulates your sleep-wake cycles," says Thomas Hornick, associate director at the GRECC at the Veterans Administration Hospital and associate professor at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. He says it is known that certain drugs do better when given at the appropriate time in the circadian cycle.

As a safe, non-pharmacological.........read the whole article

For a great resource for those with dementia, caregivers and healthcare professinals, click here


For information on being the best caregiver you can be, click here


For more interesting dementia articles and activities, click here

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Kindling human connections

Activities directors, other healthcare professionals and caregivers here is an interesting article I found in the
Jewish News of Greater Phoenix
Conference offers spiritual approach to dementia
VICKI CABOT
snippet of song, a snatch of Hebrew verse, a squeeze of the hand.

Each has the capacity to kindle the vital human connections often lost or diminished by dementia. Exploring our ability to find and nurture those contact points, as a source of strength and comfort for both those with dementia and those who love and care for them, is the focus of an upcoming conference sponsored by The Deutsch Family Shalom Center of Temple Chai in collaboration with Hospice of the Valley (HOV).

"Finding the Sacred in the Journey of Dementia: Comfort and Care for Jewish Families," funded by a grant from the Jewish Community Foundation, is set for April 25 and 26 at Temple Chai. It includes a Saturday evening coffeehouse featuring music, poetry and a staged dramatic reading, followed by a Sunday afternoon of informational presentations and workshops. Speakers and facilitators include Maribeth Gallagher, a psychiatric nurse practitioner who is the dementia program director at HOV, and Rabbi Sheldon Marder, chaplain of the Jewish Home in San Francisco, who has created innovative ways to infuse geriatric care with Jewish spirituality.

Sharona Silverman, Shalom Center director, explains that the impetus for the conference came from a growing awareness of the increasing numbers of those with dementia and their families and a sensitivity to their needs. According to the Alzheimer's Foundation of America, dementia is a general term that describes a group of symptoms such as loss of memory, judgment, language and other skills due to damage or death of brain neuron cells. Alzheimer's is one of the diseases that can cause dementia.

"Listening to our congregants, I could see the impact on them and their families," she says. A focus group last fall, followed by an HOV program earlier this year, reinforced her perception of the need to provide a communal response. HOV offers excellent nondenominational programming to a wide range of groups, but Silverman sought to provide a specifically Jewish response.

Temple Chai congregant Cathy Shalen, a focus group participant, emphasized the importance of addressing dementia in the community.

"People don't talk about it," says Shalen, who is caring for a family member in the early stages of dementia. Availing herself of resources, attending conferences and participating in a Shalom Center support group has helped immeasurably.

"I wish I had gone earlier," she says, noting the reluctance to confront dementia and seek help. "I could have been better prepared."

Silverman says the conference aspires to help the community understand the needs of those with dementia and the necessity for providing support for the individuals and their families.

"We want people to not feel so alone," she says, "and help them learn about some of the tools that can help."

The Saturday evening reading from "Greenland," an original work by Devorah Medwin, will help to initiate conversation and inspire communal response.

Medwin, a Valley writer who holds a master's in playwriting from the Actor's Studio Drama School in New York, wrote the short play about Alzheimer's while in graduate school. It turns on the reaction of three sisters to the growing realization that their mother is beginning to show signs of dementia. Valley actress and writer Debra Rich Gettleman will portray one of the three sisters in the play.

Medwin says the work explores the emotions that surface when confronted with dementia and the impending care-giving responsibilities it implies. The play, she says, is a vehicle for opening up the subject.

"Maybe people can't talk about it," she says, "but maybe a character can."

Gettleman says the play, and the transformational writing workshops that the duo will lead on Sunday, are designed to provoke discussion.

"It will open people up," she says of the dramatic portrayal, providing an opportunity for confronting issues and creating a sense of community.

Gallagher, who will speak on ways to enhance quality of life for both patient and caregiver, posits the growing need to learn about dementia as both.......read the whole aeticle

For a great resource for those with dementia, caregivers and healthcare professinals, click here


For information on being the best caregiver you can be, click here


For more interesting dementia articles and activities, click here

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Exercise calms agitation associated with dementia

Activities directors, other healthcare professionals and caregivers read this:

NEW YORK (Reuters) -- In a pilot study, agitation and functioning improved in a group of elderly nursing home residents suffering from severe dementia when they engaged in just 30 minutes of supervised exercise three times a week.


Edris Aman, a second-year medical student at Saint Louis University School of Medicine in Missouri, who conducted the study, told Reuters Health: “Lots of people just assume that people with this kind of (severe) dementia cannot follow exercise instructions, but they can. It just takes more patience on the part of the exercise coordinator -- me in this case.”

Aman said his study is unique because it involved people suffering from severe dementia who were living in the “special needs” units of two nursing homes. The 50 study participants, whose average age was 79, performed 15 minutes of aerobic exercise and 15 minutes of weight lifting three times a week.

“Before and after” tests revealed that patients were far less agitated after completing the 3-week exercise program. They also showed significant improvement in their functional status -- specifically, the distance they could walk in six minutes.

Aman, who presented his research today at the annual meeting of the American Geriatrics Society, said there didn’t.......read the whole story

For a great resource for those with dementia, caregivers and healthcare professinals, click here


For information on being the best caregiver you can be, click here


For more interesting dementia articles and activities, click here

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Tap into Music with Meaning

Activities directors, other healthcare professionals and caregivers, read this from: Alzheimer's and Dementia Weekly
Bill Hemmer:

Whether it's the first dance at your wedding or the theme song of your high school years, music can trigger a flood of memories. Now, scientists mapping the brain say the two are linked in an area that is one of the least affected by neuroligcal disease.

So, is the next big breakthrough for Alzheimer's patients sitting on their iPods? Dr. Keith Siller is a neurologist at NYU Medical Center here in New York. Nice to see you, Doc, thanks for coming in.

Dr. Siller: Thank you.

Bill: I guess anyone who has driven in the car and flipped around the dial and found an 'oldies' station can relate to this. The idea of music sort of bringing in a flood of memories. Talk to us how doctors are now using this as they research different treatments and perhaps even a cure for Alzheimer's.

Dr. Siller: Well, I don't know if this is going to lead to a cure, but it is a concept that could be a novel therapy. The fact is, we have to understand that memory has many different components. We don't just learn by reading, we also learn by any sensory input that we get. Could be music, could be the smell of something. This is a very interesting study because it actually shows us what normal memory is like. The fact that we can tap into long-term memory, for example, is very exciting, through a stimulus that we normally didn't think about.

I think we can all relate to this. You smell a perfume or a song or something else that reminds you of something from the past. So it is a very clever technique which, if done properly, might actually help a patient with a memory disorder.
....read the whole article

For a great resource for those with dementia, caregivers and healthcare professinals, click here

For information on being the best caregiver you can be, click here

For more interesting dementia articles and activities, click here

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Songs They Can’t Forget

Activities directors, other healthcare professionals and caregivers, here is an article that will interest you from the
New York Times
By Sara Davidson
Tom was a wanderer. When his wife, Elsie, came to visit him at a care unit for patients with dementia, he would give her a perfunctory kiss, then wander off through the rooms and stare out the window. Elsie tried to walk with him and hold hands, but he would shake her off, leaving her heartsick.

A music therapist at the facility, Alicia Clair, was searching for ways to help couples like Elsie and Tom connect. Ms. Clair asked Elsie if she’d like to try dancing with Tom, then put on some music from the ’40s — Frank Sinatra singing “Time after Time.” Ms. Clair said recently, “I knew Tom was a World War II vet, and vets did a lot of ballroom dancing.”

As Sinatra began singing, Elsie opened her arms, beckoning. Tom stared a moment, then walked over and began leading her in the foxtrot. “They danced for thirty minutes!” Ms. Clair said. When they were finished, Elsie broke down and sobbed. “I haven’t been held by my husband in three years,” she told Ms. Clair. “Thank you for bringing him back.”

Ms. Clair, a professor of music therapy at the University of Kansas, tells this story to show how music can reach people with Alzheimer’s disease. Music has the power to bypass the mind and wash through us, triggering strong feelings and cueing the body to synchronize with its rhythm.

Researchers and clinicians are finding that when all other means of communication have shut down, people remember and respond to....read the whole article

For a great resource for those with dementia, caregivers and healthcare professinals, click here

For information on being the best caregiver you can be, click here

For more interesting dementia articles and activities, click here

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

Activities directors, other healthcare professionals and caregivers tomorrow is Mother's day and the start of National Nursing Home Week.

What do you have planned?

Here is a brief synopsis of what we are doing:
Celebrate NATIONAL NURSING HOME WEEK, May 10-15, at Hunt, 90 Lindall St.

This week is filled with excitement, music, fun and cheer, so JOIN US for ALL or for some of it

Sunday, May 10, for a special Mother’s Day Tea at 2:15pm.
The Resident Choral Group will perform followed by a light buffet

Monday, May 11, at 2:15pm
Emanuel’s Black and White Band performs

Tuesday, May 12 from 1-4pm relax with FREE chair massages courtesy of Muscular Therapy and play BINGO at 2:15pm before or after your massage

Wednesday, May 13, join us for a
MEMORIAL SERVICE at 4pm

Thursday, May 14, at 2:15 watch and dance with the Riverside Squares

Friday, May 15, at 2:15pm be entertained by the Cape Ann Seniorettes and others from
Miss Tina’s Dance Studio

For a great resource for those with dementia, caregivers and healthcare professinals, click here

For information on being the best caregiver you can be, click here

For more interesting dementia articles and activities, click here

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Plan to honor your nurses(part 2)




Activities directors, other healthcare professionals and caregivers
As I said in the last post, I make a card for the residents to distribute to the nurses on staff. This, as you might expect, makes for good relationships between the residents and the staff. I like to foster positive relationships with as many groups of people as possible. Whenever there is an opportunity, I take advantage of it.

Before the card distribution, we have a nice discussion about the nurses’ jobs. I ask if the residents know all the things that the nurses do for them and others in the facility. Before the discussion is over, everyone is so thankful for all the nurses.

Above is an example of the card I made. It is pretty simple, but it gets the message across.
Have the higher functioning residents fold the cards or make their own cards.

For a great resource for those with dementia, caregivers and healthcare professinals, click here

For information on being the best caregiver you can be, click here

For interesting dementia articles and activities, click here

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Plan to honor your nurses

Activities directors, other healthcare professionals and caregivers,
as many of you know, May 6 to May 12 is National Nurses Week. This is a time to honor your nurseas whether you work with or employ them.

We at Hunt Nursing and Rehabilitation Center honor our nurses not only this week but throughout the year.

I promised many of you a posting about why nurses should be honored

We at Hunt Nursing and Rehabilitation Center honor our nurses not only this week but throughout the year.

I promised many of you a posting about why nurses should be honored.

Nurses, Lifting Spirits, Touching Lives

You care. You tend the sick, you observe, record, assess, instruct. You listen. You supervise, plan schedules, assign duties. You watch. You’re quick in emergencies, compassionate with suffering, expert with complicated procedures. You respond. Your experience is more varied than we can list on this page, your presence more valuable than any job description can quantify. You’re a helper, a healer, a friend. And to us at Hunt, you are at the very heart of our commitment to resident -centered care.

Thank You!

For a great resource for those with dementia, caregivers and healthcare professinals, click here

For information on being the best caregiver you can be, click here

For more interesting dementia articles and activities, click here

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Activities directors, other healthcare professionals and caregivers, a colleague od mine, Sharon K. Brothers, MSW, talks about music and dementia

A music therapist at the facility, Alicia Clair, was searching for ways to help couples like Elsie and Tom connect. Ms. Clair asked Elsie if she'd like to try dancing with Tom, then put on some music from the '40s - Frank Sinatra singing "Time after Time." Ms. Clair said recently, "I knew Tom was a World War II vet, and vets did a lot of ballroom dancing."

As Sinatra began singing, Elsie opened her arms, beckoning. Tom stared a moment, then walked over and began leading her in the foxtrot. "They danced for thirty minutes!" Ms. Clair said. When they were finished, Elsie broke down and sobbed. "I haven't been held by my husband in three years," she told Ms. Clair. "Thank you for bringing him back."

It's a lovely story, and it illustrates the power of music in the lives of the person with memory loss.

I remember the first time I heard one of our caregivers explain how she got a client to bathe. This client resisted everyone's effort to help him bathe, and could quickly become angry and aggressive if pushed. We'd all tried every approach we knew, and then Wanda stepped up.

An hour later, the client was bathed, relaxed and smiling. We had to know: how did she do it?

Here's what she said.....read the whole post

For a great resource for those with dementia, caregivers and healthcare professinals, click here

For information on being the best caregiver you can be, click here

For more interesting dementia articles and activities, click here

Friday, May 1, 2009

Cince de Mayo for those with dementia(part 2)

Activities directors, other healthcare professionals and caregivers
I like to make a card to distribute to the group involved with this activity. Below is a sample of a simple card I created. I actually distribute it to all the residents in our particular nursing home.
100_07541.jpg
As you can see we are featuring ice cream as the sweet treat. You can feature anything you want. You can get ideas from the cookbook below


It just so happens that the folks I serve, love ice cream. Therefore at just about every event we feature ice cream. I like it because it is easy. It can be bought in sugar free varieties and, if necessary, it can be tickened to meet almost every dietary need

Just another note about the cards I created for this holiday. We have several higher functioning residents who need jobs and folding these cards is a great task for them. You create and copy and they fold. This folding task also works as a great diversionary tactic for a mildly agitated person with dementia who will have success with this project.
100_0755.jpg100_0756.jpg

You can make cards similar to this for any holiday. If folding in quarters is too much, then make a card that is just folded in half. This requires that you are able to print on both sides of the paper

More great fun tomorrow. See you then
Remember, keep it simple

For a great resource for those with dementia, caregivers and healthcare professinals, click here

For information on being the best caregiver you can be, click here

For more interesting dementia articles and activities, click here