"Memory Lane TV" Soothes Anxiety & Agitation in Dementia

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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

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