life, mental disorders, mental illness

Music and Art Activities for Alzheimer’s and Dementia

I had a resident in the dementia unit at work. She never spoke more that one word at a time. She rarely spoke at all. She was sweet and used to like to come along with me, as I did laundry and other tasks. She would hold my hand and come along, wherever I went.

I used to sing to her and sometimes she would sing along with me. If I got lucky and found a sing she knew, then she would sing all of the words with me.

This made her very happy and I could see her self esteem go up, because she was able to do something well, and she was able to communicate with me through the music, in a way that she could not do with her words.

One day after we sang a song, she looked at me and said “Well what shall we do next?”

It was amazing. It was like the music stimulated something in her brain and made the circuits connect. After this, I sang with her as often as I was able to.

Sometimes she would sing and then not talk. Other times, she would say entire sentences to me, but only right after she had sung a song. I strongly believe that there is a connection between the singing and the ability to connect words together into a sentence.

Being as that I have lost my job, due to an error with the licensing department, I have decided it is time to start my own business. I have wanted to do this for a while now. My degenerative bone disease has been getting increasingly worse, and I can barely get through the shift at work anyway.

I have a few different ideas for businesses which I can do. I am an eclectic person and would be happy doing more than one type of service for my business.

I am going to post some of my ideas as I work on them and see what you guys think, so that you can brainstorm with me.

I love working with dementia and Alzheimer’s sufferers. I have developed some activities using ┬ámusic, art and cognitive stimulating games. I may try to make some videos showing what I do. I have done some of these activities with the dementia residents at the assisted living and also at the nursing home i used to work at.

I had really excellent results from the activities that I designed and I felt that I was able to get people to connect socially and cognitively, in ways that were special and meaningful. I have a great passion for this work.

I did not have a lot of time to work with the residents when I worked at these jobs. Only small sections of time. I feel that if I could work one on one with people, for a half hour or an hour at a time, once or twice a week, that the results would be even better.

I could work well in people’s homes or as a one on one companion at nursing homes, as hired by the individual family.

I also could teach my techniques to family, or healthcare workers, who were interested in maintaining the highest quality of life for their loved ones and patients. Maybe I could make some youtube videos and then offer a course that could be downloaded.

The pain in my neck where the herniated discs are, makes it very painful to lift people in and out of wheelchairs and showers.

My foot has gotten very bad and I am now using a cane to walk on uneven ground, like the parking lot at the grocery store. I have PTTD which is posterior tibial tendon dysfunction. It causes severe bone changes, flat foot, and a collapsing arch. which causes pain when walking for long hours and also trouble balancing.

So, as my time working on me feet for 8 hours is about over, I am excited to get into what I have dreamed of doing for some time now. My skills and ideas would be more valuable for one on one clients. At the nursing home, I am mostly doing basic daily activities like dressing, toileting , bathing etc.

I will keep working on these ideas and show you what I come up with. You never know what kind of ideas you might have, as you see mine. It could be helpful to get some feedback. Thank you all for always being supportive. I look forward to your thoughts, as I develop my ideas for dementia activities.

Blessings,

Annie

This is the link to my Go Fund me Account.

http://www.gofundme.com/anniemichele