Tag Archives: alzheimer

Dementia and Alzheimer’s: Treatment and Home Care Options

We all can be forgetful.  As we age, our memory and our cognitive abilities change.  Many elderly citizens may experience a slight loss of memory.  When memory loss becomes more pronounced and  affects one’s daily life and functionality, it could be a symptom of dementia.

As we age the risk of developing dementia increases, but dementia is specific and can be diagnosed. Many things can cause memory loss, cognitive decline, hearing loss, or dementia-like symptoms, which are caused by something else entirely.

What is Dementia?

The term “dementia” refers to a general decline of one’s mental ability which is prominent enough to disrupt one’s daily routine and life. Dementia is the generic term for memory loss. There are many different causes of dementia, of which Alzheimer’s disease is one of the most common causes.  Stroke is another common cause of dementia.  Thinking, planning, recalling, and engaging are all skills that can deteriorate over time because of dementia.

Each person experiences dementia differently.  For some, especially if stroke is the cause of the dementia, the individual might experience a relatively static decline.  Subsequent strokes may well increase memory loss.

For others who have dementia caused by Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, or Louis Bodies disease, the memory loss is likely to become progressively worse.  The rate of decline is different for each individual who goes through dementia. For some, the rate of mental decline is very quick, but for others, it may take many years to observe significant changes.

If you or a loved one experiences symptoms of dementia or general memory loss contact your doctor for treatment recommendations.

Causes of Dementia

There is a wide range of causes which can alter the brain resulting in dementia. Some of the common causes are listed below:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Head injuries
  • Strokes
  • Tumors

In rare instances, dementia can be caused by a factor which is treatable. Below are some of the most treatable causes of dementia:

  • Urinary Tract Infection
  • Underactive thyroid gland (Hypothyroid)
  • Vitamin B12 deficiency
  • Fluid build-up on the brain
  • Depression
  • Incorrect medication dosage and mixing pharmaceuticals

People on strong prescription drugs can often seem to become more and more forgetful or absent-minded because of the chemical combinations in their brain. This can be caused by a combination of prescriptions, OTC, vitamins, and other supplements. Speak to your doctor about the cognitive medication side effects or symptoms and how to increase cognitive abilities in your day-to-day life.

Alzheimer’s vs. Dementia

Dementia can take form as Alzheimer’s disease but does not always do so. Alzheimer’s is a specific form of brain deterioration which affects memory, speech, cognitive abilities, and functionality in daily life. The symptoms of Alzheimer’s will get worse over time and will eventually require supervised care for the individual. Medication is available for treatment which will help to slow the symptoms and progression of the disease plus increasing the longevity and quality of life.

Care Facilities

Over time, those who suffer from dementia or Alzheimer’s will require more and more care. Many dementia patients who suffer from severe memory loss will eventually require long-term care in a specialized living environment. However, before that is necessary, options are available to provide home care or adult day care.

The features and benefits of an adult day memory care center, in Atlanta or elsewhere, are the services which are provided. Social programs, physical exercise programs, and medication management are all standard operations of a memory care center.

The Atlanta area has some of the best senior care and adult day care centers in the state of Georgia. However, relocating yourself or a loved one is not always necessary. In fact, staying in a familiar setting can be very beneficial in maintaining a safe and caring environment for someone who is suffering from signs of dementia or Alzheimer’s. Seek out senior home care providers near you to see what services and options are available.

If you live in metro Atlanta, one such senior home care service which specializes in memory care is Skylark Senior Care. Call a representative of Skylark Senior Care to discuss how you or your loved ones daily life can be improved by a home care professional.

Through adult day care, home care, or a combination, Skylark offers seniors the choice to stay in their homes while receiving treatment. The Skylark staff will work with the care receiver to create an individualized treatment plan specific to one’s individual needs and desires.

Skylark Home Care

(404) 410-1510
4265 Johns Creek Parkway, Suite B
Johns Creek, GA 30024

Home Service Areas:

Senior care facilities in metro Atlanta empower senior citizens to stay active in their daily lives. This can give the gift of a maintained integrity and self-image in the later stages of dementia. Residents of memory care centers interact in a supervised, comfortable, and dignified environment.

The memories which we cherish are never lost or forgotten as long as we continue to give love and care to the ones who need it. There is no cure for dementia, however, there are treatments available and care facilities which can increase your loved one’s quality of life and integrity through these challenges. Consider home care and adult day care facilities in metro Atlanta, which can make a world of difference.

Home Care: How Music Therapy Helps Alzheimer’s and Dementia

senior day care

Music is a powerful tool. Research has shown music stimulates neurons that span the brain. Brain functions which have no obvious connection to each other are stimulated by music.

For people who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease, the effects of music therapy as a treatment possesses incredible proven potential and results. Even in the late stages of Alzheimer’s patients have shown amazing results of increased memory recall and cognitive brain function.

Music therapy can positively affect mood, assist in stress reduction, stimulate sedentary brain functions, and enhance motor functionality. This is also a therapy patients can practice in the comfort of their homes with the assistance of a senior home care service and certified music therapist.

Sound therapy is a well-established health profession which is backed up with many years of clinical research. It is implemented to treat a wide range of neurological conditions for patients of every age range. Every music therapist treating Alzheimer’s has completed an approved bachelor’s or master’s degree program, completed an approved six-month clinical internship, and passed the practitioner certification exam.

Much like doctors and lawyers, to maintain their license to practice music therapists must maintain their board certification through continuing education. Any music therapist who is practicing at, or being consulted by, a senior home care service or adult day care center in Atlanta, has obtained their license to practice as a therapist and to treat clients in the state of Georgia.

How Does it Work

Though there is no known cure for Alzheimer’s, the reason neurologic music therapy or sound therapy is so effective as a treatment for Alzheimer’s or dementia patients is because it taps into what makes a human a human.

Mankind has progressed as a species, in the main part, due to our ability to communicate through language. Music is a creative outlet of the brain’s categorical mapping of speech based rhythmic structures. The same specificity of diction in our communication gives rise to music as a mastery of the articulations of sound. Since the roots of what we have defined as music are in verbally-based communication, the brain is wired to respond on a subconscious level to sound waves and beat patterns.

Therapy sessions and the songs or music played vary on account of the therapist and needs of the individuals. Most therapies combine the use of familiar music and specifically structured harmonic sound treatments along with symbiotic exercises and practice.

Brain responses, which are based on rhythm, do not require conscious mental processing ability to respond. The brain responds to music and all other rhythmically-based cues from the motor center which responds directly and automatically, like breathing.

Late stage Alzheimer’s patients who are suffering from severe memory loss have been known to sing along to a song that they have known for many years without the disease interfering.

The vast goal of music therapy is on strengthening the cognitive recall and memory-based brain functions in patients through bypassing the impaired cognitive functions altogether and using the rhythm-based recall ability to improve the overall brain functionality.

How to Find a Practitioner

There are music therapy practices in every state and all major cities across the country. Many sources exist on the Internet to discern between treatment centers you might be looking at.

Another good resource is a local university or psychiatrist’s office. If you want a human recommendation, one can often find resources in those places to assist. The most direct contact may be from a senior care facility, adult day care center, or senior home care service.

A senior home care service in Atlanta will likely be able to refer a therapist in-house or a consultant whom they use frequently. Since music therapy is a treatment for a wide range of medical applications, there are many independent clinics which specialize in music therapy. In Atlanta, here are some below:

To seek advice on the right music therapist for you in the Atlanta area, contact Skylark Senior Care and talk to a representative who can assist you with a recommendation. Skylark Home Care offers an in-home patient care service and in conjunction with a certified music therapy treatment which can help improve you or your loved one’s quality of life.

Skylark Home Care

(678) 646-0600
4265 Johns Creek Parkway, Suite B
Johns Creek, GA 30024
Home Service Areas in the Atlanta Metropolitan Area

Clinical Research and Findings

In a study, published in 2006 by the Juntendo University School of Medicine, the results showed music therapy can be used to target and lower blood pressure. In another group, focusing on people with dementia, music therapy significantly decreased depressive tendencies in patients and yet another found positive data showing singing has an immediate effect on recall abilities in later stages of dementia. This is just one of the many examples of clinical data proving the practical viability of music therapy for Alzheimer’s patients.

In 2000, a study was published in the Journal of Music Therapy which examined the effects of how music therapy and language interact. The study comprised 26 Alzheimer’s patients from a Senior Memory Care Facility which specializes in Alzheimer’s disease. Participants were put into one of two groups: either a music therapy group or a discussion group. Conversations were stimulated through pictures and authors affirmed the validity of music therapy as an effective treatment for speech content and fluency in Alzheimer’s patients.

The American Music Therapy Association, states, “Music therapy is the clinical and evidence-based use of music intervention to accomplish individual goals within a therapeutic relationship…”

The organization also states music therapy can assist in the treatment of many issues. It promotes wellness and can help to manage stress, alleviate pain, express feelings, enhance memory, improve language and communication, and promote physical rehabilitation.

Let us know in the comments if you have used music therapy treatment and seen the same results.