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Informative Information from past Phoenix Seminar on Preventing Abuse, Neglect, Exploitation

Phoenix Seminar on Preventing Abuse, Neglect, Exploitation.

How to Communicate with Alzheimers Patients | Alzheimers Patients

I highly encourage reading this article.  Lark


By Paula Spencer, senior editor

Quick summary: Its so easy to become frustrated when talking to someone with dementia or Alzheimers. Its hard to know the “right” way to respond to the repetitive or odd things he sometimes says. You wont be tongue-tied if you keep these simple communication techniques in mind

via How to Communicate with Alzheimers Patients | Alzheimers Patients.

Abuse of Alzheimer’s Patients Common Among Family Caregivers

Alzheimer’s Disease | Abuse of Alzheimer’s Patients Common Among Family Caregivers.

Abuse of Alzheimer’s Patients Common Among Family Caregivers

Mon, 09 Mar 2009 12:09:00 PM EST

More than half of those who cared for a relative with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia admitted to researchers that they had mistreated them, an alarming study from the U.K. reports. Most of the abuse consisted of occasionally yelling at or disparaging the person with Alzheimer’s.

The study, from researchers at University College in London, found that the strain of caregiving can take its toll, even among close family members. While about half of the 220 caregivers surveyed reported making occasional verbal threats to those they cared for, about a third said they had committed more frequent verbal abuse. Only three of those surveyed admitted to more serious physical abuse like hitting, slapping or shaking.

“Many people think about elder abuse in terms of ‘lashing out’ and other similar acts, but abuse can be as simple as shouting or swearing at the person being cared for,” said lead author Claudia Cooper of the university’s department of mental health sciences. The findings were published in the British Medical Journal.

The authors noted that the results were not surprising, given that people with Alzheimer’s are typically cared for in the home by family or friends who often have little or no outside help or support, and the stress of caregiving can be overwhelming at times.

“This is the first representative survey to ask family carers about abuse,” Dr. Cooper said. “We found few cases of physical or frequent abuse, although those with the most abusive behavior may have been reluctant to report it or take part in the study in the first place.”

The researchers said that health care professionals tended to avoid the issue when talking to relatives.

They wrote: “Professionals are often reluctant to talk about abuse, perhaps because of a fear that discussing and acknowledging it would necessitate referral of an adult for protection and trigger a punitive response such as removal of the person with dementia.

“This may result in an ‘all or nothing’ approach to abuse, where it is ignored until the problem becomes serious.

“Similarly, clinicians may not consider abuse when seeing most carers, if abuse if perceived as a rare action purposefully perpetrated by amoral abusers.”

Study co-author Gill Livingston said that it’s important to recognize the problem of abuse among family members who care for a loved one with Alzheimer’s.

“Our findings suggest that any strategy for safeguarding vulnerable adults must be directed towards families who provide the majority of care for older people, rather than exclusively at paid carers,” he said.

“The vast majority of family carers do a fantastic job under very difficult circumstances,” he added. “Health care professionals can be reluctant to ask about abuse by family carers, but this attitude can be very unhelpful to carers who are worried about their own actions and want to talk about them and get help. Considering elder abuse as a spectrum of behaviors could help professionals to ask about it and therefore offer assistance.”

The toll of caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s is known to carry an increased risk of physical illness and depression in caregivers. Enlisting other family members and friends to help with daily caregiving tasks can be an important part of helping to maintain mental equanimity and lessen stress among caregivers.

Counseling and support of family members can also be of significant benefit for those caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s, research shows. [See the story, “Counseling and Support Benefits Alzheimer’s Caregivers, at

By Reviewed by William J. Netzer, Ph.D., Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation at The Rockefeller University

“The CARD Study – Abuse of People With Dementia by Family Carers,” published online in the British Medical Journal, 23 January, 2009.

How Music Affects the Brain and How You Can Use It to Your Advantage

Reblogged from: Derren Brown Blog

“Music can often make or break a day. It can change your mood, amp you up for exercise, and help you recover from injury. But how does it work exactly, and how can you use it to your advantage?

Recently, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords used music therapy to help her learn to talk again. The still unproven theory revolves around the idea that music is represented in multiple parts of the brain and therefore accesses deeper pathways between neurons. Music then helps patients connect the stored knowledge of words through songs and helps create the new connections needed for speech. This same idea has been used for stroke victims in the past, and has been referred to as the Kenny Rogers Effect.

You don’t need to have suffer from brain damage to get the benefits though, lets take a look at how music affects the brain in a more casual sense, and how you can use it to enhance your day-to-day.

Recall Memories

You might remember reports back in the 1990s that said that studying while listening to Mozart increases the likelihood of performing well on a test, but that has been disproven in some studies, and in turn, studies have shown some music has a negative affect on fact retention if you’re studying numbers or lists. Still, performing music has been proven to increase memory and language skills, but for listeners, it’s better used as a means to recall memories. It has been shown in Alzheimer’s patients to help with memory recall, and even restore cognitive function. It works for Alzheimer’s patients in the same way it works in everyone else.

When you listen to music you know, it stimulates the hippocampus, which handles long-term storage in the brain. Doing so can also bring out relevant memories you made while listening to a particular song. So, even though the Mozart-effect has essentially been disproven, the idea that forming a new memory with music, and then using the same music again later to recall the memory still appears to be a sound idea. If you’re having trouble remembering something, you might have better luck if you play the same music you were listening to when you first made the thought.”

The Power of Music & Memory

Music imprints itself on the brain deeper than any other human experience. It speaks to us in a different language and arouses every emotion. It connects us all, it is a force that ignites our souls.

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