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 That means that hearing a favorite song can stimulate an otherwise withdrawn senior, help jumpstart a conversation, or match the mood enjoy on a good day.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
Spring signals a time for growth renewal through warmer weather, trees and flowers blooming, and outdoor activities! Everyone enjoys the change in seasons for these reasons, and especially since spring provides a chance to get out of the winter slump and cold that many experience.
Executive Director at Maybelle Carter, Jennifer Todd, agrees that, “Spring is here and we know our gardeners are just itching to get out to the garden and start digging in the soil and let the April showers bring the beautiful May flowers!”
While not every senior has the same level of mobility in order to get outside and fully enjoy the great outdoors, simply sitting in the garden and soaking up some Vitamin D can be equally as important. Research has shown that Vitamin D produced from sunlight can improve cognitive function. However, it is also very important to protect yourself from prolonged sun exposure, as it can cause harm to the skin, dehydration, and exhaustion. If you do plan to take advantage of the warmer weather and sunshine, take precautions: wear sunscreen and a hat, drink plenty of water, and take time to rest and cool down.
Some exciting FREE activities planned in Nashville for spring are:
Additionally, there are plenty of activities that you can plan and take part in on your own, depending on your hobbies, interests, and mobility. Some of these can be enjoyed outdoors or indoors, in case the heat is too intense to be outside.
Here are just a few examples:
Don’t forget to take all the precautions necessary to prevent heat stroke and exhaustion, as you make the most of the warmer weather! Wear light clothing, avoid being outside at the peak heat hours, stay hydrated, and listen to your body. If you need to take a break and seek air-conditioning, do so. You can always get back out and enjoy the weather once you feel more energized.
These are just a few tips to enhance your enjoyment of springtime as the weather transitions to the humid summer in the Deep South.
To learn more about Maybelle Carter, call us at (844) 602-2602.
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
We all want to imagine that our futures will be filled with better days than our pasts, but a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s is tough to accept because it brings with it a lot of uncertainty. The positive is that the sooner the condition is discovered and arrangements for caregiving established, the lesser the disruption in the lives of the affected senior and his or her family.
After the diagnosis, families should take steps to prepare, according to the Alzheimer’s Association (AA). These processes include:
At Maybelle Carter’s Remembrance Village, our caregivers are specifically trained and receive continuing education to care for memory impaired residents. We have licensed nurses on staff 24/7. And our newly designed secured accommodations create a stress-free, comfortable environment with less confusion.
These can be difficult conversations to have, but according to the Alzheimer’s Association, waiting until a crisis hits to get affairs in order can make the process even more arduous and emotionally taxing on everyone involved. They recommend involving well-qualified medical and legal advisors for the initial diagnosis and pulling together resources after.
The Alzheimer’s Association offers a free, customized planning tool called Alzheimer’s Navigator that can help families map out a plan. It can be found at https://www.alzheimersnavigator.org/ The organization also offers online resources that let people know they are not alone in facing such challenges.
To learn more about Remembrance Village, call (844) 602-2602.
Nashville seniors see our share of snow and ice each winter. As we approach the holidays, it’s a good time to come up with a game-plan for keeping safe and arriving to springtime incident-free.
Maybelle Carter residents and their families are fortunate in that they enjoy the peace of mind that comes from having a safe, secure residence where their physical and emotional well-being are the entire focus. There are definite advantages to living in a space with staffing and supplies to handle even major winter events.
For those seniors who choose to age in place in a private home, family caregivers need to carefully assess potential troubles as far as ventilation, backup in case of electrical outages and having enough food, water and medicine to last for several days. It’s possible for the homebound senior with mobility issues to be stranded in place for days without family able to access them. In such cases, it pays to have a reliable neighbor who is willing to check in on your senior loved one to make sure they are warm enough and not suffering.
Hypothermia is always a risk associated with the colder months. Part of the reason seniors and the very young are more susceptible to bitterly cold temperatures is a lack of activity (due to mobility issues) combined with health conditions such as diabetes that make it more challenging for the body to keep heat. Key to making winter more pleasant is maintaining heat in the home without allowing it to escape, as well as making sure the homebound senior knows about approaching severe weather and has a fully charged phone to maintain communication with his or her caregiver.
At Maybelle Carter, we offer transportation services to residents so they do not have to get out in the weather alone – a move that can be extremely risky in frigid temperatures. Outings and regular activities are part of what it means to be in our community – a togetherness that positively affects the mental focus and well-being of our residents. It’s tough to get too overwhelmed by wintertime blues when entertainers, staffers and friends keep you occupied.
Assisted Living offers the best of both worlds: we respect a senior’s privacy while being available to help with the tasks of daily life. It’s a compromise that allows the parent to maintain their dignity while giving grown children reassurance that mom and/or dad are safe and well cared for. A side-effect that families might not consider is the time and effort they save no longer having to winterize the senior's home, shovel snow out of the driveway, deal with frozen pipes, etc.
Winter can be an especially dangerous time for people of all ages, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention points out that most natural deaths occur around the holidays and winter months. A move to Assisted Living (even if it is just during the winter months) can be a precaution that seniors grow to love.
For more information on relocating to our community, please contact our marketing coordinators at (615) 868-2290.
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.
Like country star Keith Urban sang, “It’s gonna be a long, hot summer.”
Temperatures are already climbing in Nashville, and that makes it extra important to stay comfortable, healthy, and safe. The heat can be extra hard on those with chronic illnesses, the very young, and furry friends who live outdoors.
Here are our top tips for staying as cool as Johnny Cash even when the mercury climbs:
Beware of dehydration. It’s easy for it to sneak up on you. The University of Chicago Medical Center found that 40% of heat-related fatalities in the U.S. were among people over 65. This is for a number of reasons, including naturally decreased water retention that comes with age, medications that may affect elders’ ability to stay hydrated, and issues with kidney function.
Symptoms of dehydration can include problems with walking or falling, dizziness or headaches, dry or sticky mouth and tongue, sunken eyes, inability to sweat or produce tears, rapid heart rate, low blood pressure or blood pressure that drops when changing from lying to standing, constipation and decreased urine.
Maybelle Carter’s staff of caregivers are trained to look out for symptoms like these and to help residents stay healthy and comfortable. However, friends and loved ones may want to take note of how they can stay equally refreshed during scorching Southern summers. Often by the time you feel thirsty, you’re already considerably dehydrated. Sip water throughout the day, and avoid drinks like coffee, tea, or soda that can contribute to dehydration even if they feel like they’re wetting your whistle. Skip alcoholic beverages in favor of mocktails, too, during the warmer months.
Avoid going outdoors when the sun’s rays are strongest and temperatures are highest. The sun’s ray’s heat things up and increase UV ray exposure from noon until late afternoon. Often temperatures peak between noon and 4 PM, depending on the weather. Stay inside where there is air conditioning or a fan and snack on foods like cucumbers, bell peppers, melon, or fruit instead of salty chips or pretzels.
If you lack air conditioning, there are plenty of places in Nashville you can head to beat the heat. See a movie, take a walk through your local shopping mall, the Nashville Public Library on Church Street, or grab a couple scoops at Jenni’s Splendid Ice Creams in East Nashville. Pinewood Social is a fun spot where you can grab a bite to eat, enjoy bowling indoors, or have a drink poolside. And of course, there is always the opportunity to catch a show at the Ryman Auditorium!