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Thursday, January 28, 2016

Sensational ideas for those with dementia and other nursing home residents(Part 2)

Activities directors, caregivers, and healthcare professionals,here is some great information

Here is a great dementia resource for caregivers and healthcare professionals,

Here is information on being the best caregiver you can be

USA Today

Smell
Thanks to nimble noses, babies know the scent of their mothers at birth, food tastes a lot better, and the mere act of sniffing men's sweat relaxes us (and may make us more fertile). Our sense of smell also keeps us safe from everything from fire (is that smoke I smell?) to spoiled food (sour milk -- eww).
Smell also plays a key role in mood and memory. Just getting a whiff of Granny's chicken soup or a steaming cup of hot chocolate can immediately evoke an emotion or an image from our past. That's because, more than any other sense, the sense of smell is irrational.
"A smell affects us emotionally," says Alan Hirsch, M.D., neurological director of the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago. "When we detect an odor in the air, we decide if we like it before we even identify it. You can be going about your day one moment, and the next moment, be on the verge of tears -- all because of a fragrance."
When your sense of smell is at its peak, you have about 10 million olfactory receptors, and your nose and brain can distinguish among 10,000 to 30,000 smells. But as we age, "we experience loss of sensitivity and deterioration in our receptors, which are responsible for getting messages to the brain to process smell," says Richard Doty, Ph.D., director of the Smell and Taste Center at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center. But a little practice can improve your sense of smell.
Sniff a pick-me-up. When the clock strikes 4, and you start to wane, take a nice whiff of peppermint candy. Scents such as peppermint and cinnamon increase the brain waves in the front of your head, which helps keep you awake and alert. Lemon or eucalyptus in your morning shower gives you the same kind of fragrant wake-up call.
Be different. "By bombarding your nose with a series of different scents for a few minutes each day, you can create new receptors," Hirsch says. Why not try this with wine? Open a few varietals of vino, and breathe deeply. Try to detect the various notes, from sweet to strong. Soothe with scent. Before heading off to bed, relax with scented candles, bubbles, or aromatherapy oils. Try lavender or chamomile in the bath or shower, where the warm water and humidity will increase the volatility of a scent; both herbs inhibit the area of the brain that keeps you awake.
Stop smoking. Cigarette smoke kills off those essential olfactory receptors, whether you're the one smoking or not. Since indoor smoking was banned, there's been a resurgence in our sense of smell.

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