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Dementia/Alzheimers

  1. What to Do for an Agitated, Sleepless Dementia Patient

    What to Do for an Agitated, Sleepless Dementia Patient

    My father has suffered from dementia for years. He no longer has clarity in his mind and does not recognize me or my brother. He lives in a special care facility where he gets good care.

    The staff recently told me that he was becoming more agitated and sleepless during the night. As a result, he is extremely tired and confused during the day.

    Any suggestions as to what kind of tools might help him, or will nothing reach him at this point?

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  2. Is There Guided Imagery For An Aunt With Dementia And Sundown Syndrome?

    Is There Guided Imagery For An Aunt With Dementia And Sundown Syndrome?

    Question:

    My 86-yr old aunt is in the middle stages of Alzheimer's. She lives in a nearby assisted living facility and I, along with two other sisters, are her family caregivers. As the Alzheimer's progresses she is becoming more anxious (Sundowner's Syndrome) and depressed. I have used several of your guided imagery recordings over the years to help me and I was wondering if there is something you could recommend to ease her depression and anxiety. She was a music teacher in the past and yet I can't get her interested in listening to music to help relax her. I am hoping that listening to a human voice at night might bring her some comfort. Is there anything you can recommend?

    Many thanks!

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  3. What Can Imagery or Music Do for Alzheimer’s?

    Dear BR,

    I work with patients with Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia.  What can you say about using guided imagery with them?  And what kind of music do you think is best?

    Joan D.

    Answer:

    Dear Joan,

    Alzheimer's patients and people with dementia tend to do well with guided imagery – any right brain practice, really - because it’s apprehended in parts of the brain that are still responsive and receptive to it. 

    Even if the person isn’t able to track the meaning of the words and phrases, they still will pick up on the music, voice tone, pacing, emotional content and sensory feel of the experience – the flavor, so to speak.  So the imagery is very good for soothing agitation, calming upset or anger, and uplifting depression.  So is massage, and so is music by itself.

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  4. Can Cognitive Exercises Prevent the Onset of Dementia?

    Researchers from the University of New South Wales in Australia systematically reviewed results from clinical trials that examined whether cognitive exercises had any inoculative effect against the onset of dementia.

    Fifty-four studies were reviewed to identify randomized controlled trials that tested the effect of a discrete cognitive exercise program on neuropsychological performance over time in healthy older adults.

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