Written by: Meghan O’Dea
It might be surprising to those familiar with dementia and Alzheimer’s that music can have such a profound effect on those living with these conditions. After all, some of the hallmarks of various forms of dementia, including Alzheimer’s, are less likely to tolerate distractions like background noise, crowded spaces, or other overstimulating environments. However, our brains process music differently than other types of sound, and music awakens connections to other parts of the brain in a way that, say, the chatter of a crowded restaurant or a garbage truck coming down the street would not.
Stanford researcher Daniel Abrams found that participants in a study who listened to the same symphony all had nearly identical responses. MRI scans showed that regions of the brain, dedicated to movement, planning, attention, and memory—the exact same parts of the brain that are most affected by dementia, were stimulated. Scientists have numerous theories about why we evolved to be hardwired for music in this way. Some think it is a result of language acquisition skills earlier in life. Others believe it is because of our innate ability to process history, thus retaining large amounts of crucial information. Another theory is derived from the way we socialize and communicate with one another. Whatever the reason might be, it is evident that music has had a profound effect on people for as long as we’ve been, well, human.
That opens a broad realm of possibilities for how music can be used to help seniors with dementia in effort to slow the rate of memory loss or ease the isolating symptoms of more advanced cases. From mnemonic devices that can be sung to help remember routines or daily processes to soothing melodies that can help calm a senior agitated by their inability to remember an almost-familiar face, there are all sorts of ways that music can be used therapeutically.
Music that inspires a great deal of emotion in the listener, positive or negative, has a proportional effect on the brain. The more a song affects the listener emotionally, the more his or her brain lights up in response. That means that hearing a favorite song can stimulate an otherwise withdrawn senior, help jumpstart a conversation, or match the mood enjoy on a good day. Similarly, mellow songs can be used to set the tone for bedtime or periods of rest.
You can enjoy music with your loved one by collecting some of their favorite songs, whether it’s Scott Joplin, Beethoven, Red Buttons, Frank Sinatra, or another artist. Perhaps your senior loved ones have some old records or CDs still that could provide clues as to what might create a positive response. Or you can try to chat with them about songs they enjoyed when they were younger. You might even ask family members or old friends about your loved one’s favorite tunes. When you play music, be sure you have good quality headphones or speaker setup, and if necessary, that it is compatible with hearing aids. You want to make sure the volume is comfortable, but loud enough to hear.
Listening to music together can be a great pastime that inspires conversation and helps you get to know your loved one on a whole new level. It can be such a joy to watch their faces light up and their bodies start to move to the beat. Be prepared to listen to stories that the song recalls or to thoughts and opinions about the artist. You never know what associations might be conjured up as neurons fire and the brain responds to each beat.
As with any other activity you undertake with loved ones with Alzheimer’s, be prepared to take a break if they become frustrated or overwhelmed. Going for a short walk or having a snack can be great way to hit the pause button. Also, make sure there is not any background noise or any other distraction that could make it hard for your loved one to focus on the activity at hand. If you need support in any aspect of senior caregiving with Alzheimer’s, contact the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America’s national toll-free helpline at 866.232.8484. From 9AM to 9PM, they have licensed social workers who can answer your questions. They are also available on Skype, live chat, and via email.
Written by: Meghan O'Dea
Did you know that there are many different levels of Senior Care? In the event that you are thinking about senior care but do not know which option will be the best fit, there are multiple senior care choices accessible to you that differ greatly according to the level of self-reliance and senior satisfaction. At Maybelle Carter seniors are offered full continuum care, alongside similar aged peers. Listed below are the list of pros and cons for each.
Independent Living: this retirement way of life is perfect for individuals who are still dynamic and free, but also like to have someone cook and clean for them.
In-Home Care: this senior care, also known as “aging in place” is dependent upon the state of the senior, which includes standard checkups to ensure the health of the senior.
Assisted Living: this senior living alternative is perfect for seniors who find they require more hands-on assistance with daily tasks like showering, dressing and, administering pharmaceuticals.
Memory Care: this specified senior care program offers care to residents experiencing the onset of dementia or Alzheimer's.
For further counsel on selecting the appropriate senior care, consult with a specialist or primary care physician. Also, if you have questions regarding senior care arrangements, get in touch with us today to schedule a no obligation evaluation! We cheerfully welcome you, your friends, and family to join our Maybelle community today.
Written by: Katie Hanley
The holiday season is upon us! Time to break out the Christmas decorations, string lights, eggnog, and cozy winter sweaters. ‘Tis the season to be merry! Christmas is a wonderful opportunity to spend time with family. However, for many seniors, the holidays are often thought of as confusing, stressful, and in some cases saddening, especially in those suffering from seasonal depression or the loss of a loved one. Make this Christmas season special for the entire family by contributing these 5 tips to happier holiday and add more joy for the senior in your life:
1. Take a trip down memory lane. Stories are a great way to engage with seniors, as they have quite a few. As you spend time with your senior loved ones, ask them questions like, what were your family traditions when you were younger? Comparing differences and similarities is a great way to bond over Christmas dinner. Seniors love to share memories of happy times. Likewise, it can be great for the youngsters to hear about what it was like when the seniors were their age.
2. Cherish your time. Always cherish the seniors in your life and make quality time for them, especially during the holidays. At Regency, we encourage families and friends to spend time together. Whether that be a Christmas dinner, a drive out to see the magical winter lights, nativity scenes, or a candlelight church service. Just remember to have fun, chances are they will, too! Just a few minutes of uninterrupted, quality time is a lifetime of appreciation and happiness for seniors.
3. Recognize Depression. Experiencing some degree of depression around the holidays is extremely common in aging seniors. If you believe that the senior in your life might be experiencing seasonal depression this Christmas, we encourage you to make time for them. Don’t ignore the warning signs – let us know how your Regency family can help in any way!
4. Be mindful. For many seniors suffering from memory loss, the holidays can be confusing time. Be mindful that they may not remember certain past events or sometimes even names or how they are related. Use caution to not make them feel anxious or elevate confusion when they are experiencing a memory lapse. If it appears they do not remember, simply share the memory with everyone. Chances are they may not be the only one to have forgotten.
5. Ask them to help out in some small way. Our senior residents love getting the chance to help, even if their contribution is small. Include them so they feel needed by asking for a helpful hand or words of wisdom this holiday season. Give them the task of setting the dinner table, stirring the gravy, or if your senior is in a wheelchair, they can help out by peeling the potatoes. You can also include them in the traditional lighting of the Christmas tree. Gather the family around to watch the illumination kick off the holiday season. While many seniors are unable due to physical limitations, there are still many ways even older folks can help with.
Whatever the season holds for you, Regency Senior Living is honored to celebrate these special times with you and your family.
Written by: Katie Hanley
It is difficult to prepare for all of the changes that impact your body as you age. Youth can give a false sense of confidence and lead to living life in a reckless way for some; others may live their entire life cautiously in order to avoid or prepare for the inevitable changes that will happen to the body later in life.
In a society that has seen a vast increase in obesity, more than a third of all adults are considered to be obese. Partially, this is due to an increase in sedentary lifestyles. The British Journal of Sports Medicine published a study in 2011 which found a link in decreased life expectancy in people over 25 years of age who sat and watched TV. For every hour spent in front of the television, there was a 22 minutes deduction in overall life expectancy among these adults.
Being aware of these factors and how they impact future health is a start. However, being and staying physically active, and taking charge of overall health are key to the management of future well-being, according to the National Institute on Aging.
Here are a few major age-related changes that a majority of older adults will face, and how to prepare for them:
Other age-related changes include: Balance issues, loss of teeth, bone and joint weakness, and digestive/metabolic system problems. These are just a few of the keys to help aging adults live a long, healthy life. Check with your doctor before making any changes that can affect your physical or mental health.
Donald A.B. Lindberg, M.D., the Former Director of the National Library of Medicine believes, “Good information is the best medicine for older adults. NIHSeniorHealth can help seniors find answers to their medical questions from the comfort of their own homes thanks to this new and innovative online resource and the Internet."
To learn more, visit http://www.nihseniorhealth.gov.
Maybelle Carter has a range of services, from Independent Living to Memory Care, in order to fit the needs of each individual resident. To learn more about Maybelle Carter, call us at (844) 602-2602.
Written by Kristen Camden
There are many reasons that Nashville, TN is a popular city to visit, and also to live in. Labeled as the Music City, Nashville has always been a popular tourist destination, known for its country music and active night life.
What makes Nashville so appealing to retiring seniors who want to find new and interesting ways to spend their hard-earned time though? A few options to entertain and help fulfill any retiree’s day are:
For music lovers, there are a multitude of options as well, including:
Every month, there are also many opportunities to stay active and involved, right at Maybelle Carter. This month alone, the Adventure Club plans to “visit” Ireland and The Holy Land; there will be a St. Patrick’s Day Shindig; there will be an evening of music and singing with Kathy Johnson, and also a lunch outing to a local eatery!
According to TopRetirements.com, many seniors are choosing to retire in Nashville for a multitude of reasons. The region has low taxes, a mild climate, and an abundance of health care services, which is paramount for any senior making a decision on where to retire. In addition to the multitude of entertainment options, many are free, low cost, and even offer senior discounts so be sure to ask about them!
Maybelle Carter’s dedication to its residents’ wellbeing and happiness is the perfect complement to an already amazing city’s vast array of activities and fun. To learn more about what Maybelle Carter Senior Living and Retirement Community, call (844) 602-2602, or visit our community 208 West Due West Avenue, Madison, TN.
Maintaining an active social life is an important consideration when looking at a move to a retirement life community like Maybelle Carter. Indeed, friendships are part of the safety net of independent living.
Our Activity Director is dedicated to orchestrating events designed to bring people together for fun and opportunities for fellowship. These gatherings can range from games to wellness programs to entertainers like the Elvis impersonator who performed in January.
Among the activities planned for this month are our virtual Adventure Travel Tour to Paris, our anniversary luncheon, a Mardi Gras celebration, and Super Bowl kick off. Each month there are birthdays to celebrate and fun get-togethers. In March, the Adventure Travel Club will explore Ireland. These festivities are detailed in our monthly calendars and newsletters.
Even with so many fun things scheduled, moving from the solitude of a home to a community of people you don’t know yet can be intimidating for some, thrilling for others. The mind races with questions about being accepted and the quality of life that lies ahead.
Here are a few thoughts that might offer reassurance to those feeling anxiety:
Your introduction to Maybelle Carter includes a Tour
Our Community Consultants are here to listen to any concerns and answer questions. When visiting our building, a senior can have an opportunity to interact with other residents, our staff and the management team, getting a sense of how warm and inviting our community is toward them. That first encounter may be all it takes to meet a new friend who will make living here more special.
Making New Friends, Adopting New Hobbies
At Maybelle Carter, a senior has many opportunities as a springboard for meeting new people. It can be scary to step outside of our comfort zone, but there are so many perks to having a social life, including a higher quality of life, as well as health benefits such as lowered blood pressure, reduced risk of dementia and remaining mentally and physically active. Our staff and other residents want our community to be a place where seniors can enjoy life, feel safe and secure, remain active, and make new friends.
Convince a friend to follow you to Maybelle Carter
Not only will you enjoy spending more time with them, but you can also receive a $1,000 referral fee if they move into our community based on your recommendation. Lucy in our office can further explain this program and is glad to talk with you.
Change isn’t easy, but that doesn’t mean it is bad. Our goal is to make a senior’s transition to retirement living go smoothly so adding new people becomes a big part of life’s exciting next stage.
To learn more about joining our community at Maybelle Carter, visit (844) 602-2602.
Copyright: diego_cervo / 123RF Stock Photo
Communication is constantly changing, with new technologies springing up seemingly every other day. The ways we talk to each other aren’t the same as they were even 10 years ago. One thing hasn’t gone away, though. We are still fascinated by stories and storytellers!
Seniors might not realize it, but their lives have been full of great stories to share with their families and friends. They have decades worth of wisdom and insight stored up and ready to share, but they might not know how appreciated it can be. This is where writing comes in.
“The life review process helps a person find meaning, value, and fulfillment. It gives the person a sense of self-worth and of value to others.”
– Dr. Augustine DiGiovanna, Salisbury State University
Not only can writing one’s “memoirs” be a learning experience for younger generations, it can be beneficial for the writer. Reflecting on their lives and writing their stories can become a new hobby for seniors! It can help keep their minds and imaginations active, helping them to make sense of events long past. Additionally, the opportunity to discuss and share these memories helps foster a sense of community and can help keep them from feeling isolated.
This becomes increasingly important if the senior is living in an assisted living facility like Maybelle Carter. Writing it not only a pleasant pastime but it also gives them a tangible way of passing on memories to their families someday.
If you’re unsure where to start in the writing process, here are some tips:
If you have trouble writing or typing, using a video or voice recorder is a great way to preserve your stories! There are also groups in various places across the country who get together to write and share their stories on a regular basis.
Have fun sharing the story of you!
Eventually, Nashville seniors face the reality that the children have grown up and moved into homes of their own, leaving empty nests that may have more space than they need and requiring more home maintenance than they can keep up with as they age. At the same time, the prospect of moving elsewhere can be frightening because we associate a lot of good memories to our homes and resist change.
But Maybelle Carter Retirement Life Community makes change look downright amazing. There are a lot of perks to living here, especially the evaporation of worries about lawns to mow and boredom sitting alone in front of a television, having to plan and prepare a meal, then clean dishes, etc. In our golden years, this is the time to simply enjoy life and let someone take care of us for a change.
Some seniors worry that they’re going to spend this stage of their lives in a cold, crowded facility where they lack privacy and dignity, but these are fundamental needs we respect. A visit to Maybelle Carter, perhaps talking to residents about how they like living here, can change attitudes and dispel misconceptions very easily.
Residents can decorate their apartments with cherished possessions and do not have to get rid of their beloved pets to live at Maybelle Carter. These precious companions are welcome here.
Our spacious Independent Living apartments offer your own laundry room, full kitchen and large bathroom, individually controlled central heat and air, and a ceiling fan in the living room. It’s just like living in an apartment elsewhere, except that emergency assistance is available within moments 24 hours a day, plus there’s someone to cook and clean, opportunities to socialize and the security that comes from living in a community.
Our Assisted Living program offers a higher degree of help with services to assist with getting to and from the dining room, in or out of the shower or tub, helping to dress, helping with grooming or getting to or from the bathroom, plus medication reminders and other little things that are more easily accomplished with help.
Maybelle Carter ensures the safety of our residents with a fire system complete with smoke detectors and sprinklers, emergency personnel on duty 24/7, a resident sign-in and out system, doors secured at 9 pm each evening, and floor rounds several times each night. This is peace of mind that simply cannot be matched by a family caregiver, even if the senior is living within a shared space with their grown children. We pride ourselves on the safety of our facility and the compassion of our staff.
With our month-to-month lease, seniors and their families have the flexibility to change the arrangement if a resident decides that life in our community isn’t for them. We’re betting once they sample life here and make friends, they’ll really enjoy the quality of life that we can offer. Call (615) 868-2290 to schedule a tour and free consultation.
Want to make the most of the next year? We put together an excellent list of suggestions for how you can spend your time, get fit, and take on new projects that will make retirement even more rewarding. Excited? So are we!
Here are five ways to kickstart your year:
1) Coworking spaces aren't only for freelancers or independent contractors. They're also a great place to put your knowledge to work for others. The Skillery in Nashville offers classes and workshops on everything from pie making to indigo dying and beyond. If you have an area of expertise you'd like to share, they're often open to suggestions. If you want to learn something new, you only need to look at the calendar and see what strikes you!
2) Painting is creatively fulfilling and therapeutic— great for maintaining dexterity and keeping your mind sharp. Basic supplies are inexpensive and available at any craft store or art supply shop. If you're in need of inspiration, gather some friends to check out East Nashville's galleries and shops, especially during Tomato Festival time. You'll see some great examples of everything from folk art to fine art that might give you an idea of what you'd like to put on the canvas!
3) Start a new fitness habit like a daily walk or regular group aerobics class. Bike riding is also easy on Nashville's gentle terrain. Whether you choose to workout alone or with a buddy, you'll quickly feel the positive benefits to your balance, strength, and endurance, making it easier to get even more out of life.
4) Try a new board game. They're back in a big way and there are more options than ever beyond the classics like Life, Monopoly, and backgammon. Try something like Settlers of Catan, Othello, Cranium, Apples to Apples.
5) Find a new way to explore the great outdoors. One of the best things about Nashville is its mild climate. That makes it easy to appreciate all sort of natural wonders, from canoeing and fishing to a gentle nature walk or even something more adventurous like trail biking. Beaman Park, Bell's Bend, Bicentennial Capital Mall State Park, Bowie Nature Park, and Cumberland Park are all great options close to downtown and with short, accessible trails.