What IS AlzHeimer's Disease?
Alzheimer's disease is the most prevalent type of dementia. It attacks the brain, and impacts behavior, emotion, and memory. It is a progressive disease, and gradually worsens over a number years. In early stages, symptoms are mild, but as the disease progresses, much of the brain begins to slow down.
How PRevalent Is Alzheimer's Disease?
Alzheimer's affects approximately 5.4 million individuals, and is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. 1 in 3 seniors die with Alzheimer's, which kills more people than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined. On average, someone develops Alzheimer's every 33 seconds.
What Resources Are There To Help Care For A Loved One With Alzheimer's Disease?
There are many resources available when looking into caring for a loved one with Alzheimer's disease. One particular resource in the Kennebunk area is A Place To Start. This is an organization which helps families find resources on how to best help their loved ones, including researching assisted living and at home care options, finding local support groups for care-takers, and planning for the future. Click here to learn more about A Place To Start.
How Does Music Affect Someone With Alzheimer's Disease?
Music stimulates the Prefrontal Cortex, the hub of your auditory, physical, and emotional responses to music. This part of the brain is also the very last part of the brain to be touched by Alzheimer's Disease. Many people associate important memories in their lives with a particular song or song artist, and playing that music allows patients to remember these special events in their lives. Below are some links to other websites and articles which discuss the power of music.
- AARP: The Healing Power Of Music
How Is Music Selected For Patients?
Each patient has a specially designed playlist that is unique to them. The songs on each playlist are specifically selected to have the most positive effect on the patient. Many patients' playlists are created with input from family members to include songs that each patient would have listened to in their younger years. Other songs are included in the playlists to bring back a particular memory, such as a song which the patient danced to at their wedding, or a song that they especially enjoyed in their childhood. When playing this music, patients begin to recall these special events in their life through the music they associate the event with.