Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Dementia and Memory Music

People with dementia are among my favorite people on the planet.  They sing with me, smile with me, and make music with me.  The wonderful hand instruments we use bring out their natural rhythm.  It is a fun and amazing experience.

This week we introduced music therapy to folks in a memory care facility.  One gentleman, very advanced in his dementia, was crying, showing signs of agitation, and very distracted from the activities his caregiver was trying to interest him in.  My approach was slow and gentle.  As he reached for my hand, I stepped closer.  Kneeling down beside him, stroking his face, I began singing “Jesus Loves Me”.  After a few minutes, he calmed, looked me directly in the eye and sang a few words.

I released his hand, and he grabbed my shoulder, worked his way down my arm, and once again held my hand.  Upon accomplishing that task, he smiled broadly.  We connected.  For just a few minutes, this wonderful man and I were communicating in a way like only music can accomplish.

Sing with your loved ones, even if they have dementia.  It is the most amazing experience.  Don’t miss it.  Senior Life Journeys is here to offer Music Therapy to your loved ones.  Drop me a note for more information. Hope that gives you Something To Ponder.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Dementia Is Progressing

It was 2006 when Momma was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s type dementia.  The doctor, whom I refer to as “Dr. Wrong” (because I did not like him), called and announced Momma’s diagnosis over the phone.  He then advised he would call in some medication, and I was instructed to call him if I needed anything.  I was shocked in more ways than one.

I was shocked at Momma’s diagnosis.  Grandma Carpenter had died of Alzheimer’s, and I was extremely frightened at what the future may hold for Momma.  I was shocked, secondly, at this doctor’s method of delivering this news.  It was so impersonal and very cold.

That was seven years ago, and this week Momma said, “I think my dementia is getting worse.”  It was difficult to hear those words, but she is correct.  She seems to be asking the same question more frequently, and her sense of being aware of the “what, when and where” of life has been less sharp.  She is still my Momma.  She still has all the love for my sisters and me that she ever had.  She still wants to be a part of our lives.  She enjoys her life.

The day may come when all that changes.  I’m not ready for that day.  What I know is this.  With the help of those I love, the encouragement of other professionals, my Momma’s life will be the best life she can have.  After all, isn’t that what we want for everyone we love?  I hope that gives you Something To Ponder.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Dementia and Heart Disease

I would like for you to take a look at this picture?  Does anything seem slightly wrong to you?  It really makes me want to cringe.  I am seriously thinking about writing Coca-Cola with my opinion.

I have a question.  Since when did soft drinks become something “wholesome and healthy”?  In my opinion, the delicious part is even in question, but I will concede there are those among us who enjoy their taste.  But, really?  Wholesome and healthy?  NO WAY!

Now look at this next picture.  That, my friends, is a wholesome and healthy food item.  Notice all the raw ingredients.  Notice how it is not covered in a ton of dairy products.  The salad dressing is barely noticeable, and, yes, I ate the entire thing.

Take serious consideration to the foods that enter your body.  Heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes all increase your chances of Alzheimer’s type dementia.  Do you want to drink that calorie laden, full of sugar bottle of soda, or do you want to enrich your body and your mind with fresh food?  Hope that gives you Something To Ponder.