"Memory Lane TV" Soothes Anxiety & Agitation in Dementia

Amazon SearchBox

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

No comments: