When someone is living we dementia we tend to look at how they are declining and where they are having difficulty. Orchard at Athens is a new and dynamic senior living community in Athens Georgia that is focused on what people can do, and helps support people living with dementia or in need of assistance continue to be as active and in control of their lives as possible. In order for the staff to understand what someone can do, and how best to support them in their life, they must be trained and educated. The staff at Orchard will have intentional and directed on-going training to ensure that the residents in our community are supported and live a full life.
Many communities say they provide a rich engagement program, but, with a closer look, one may find the activities provided look more like being on a cruise ship rather than living a fully engaged life. There are four categories of engagement to look for in senior living. Below is a short list to help determine if a community has a full engagement program.
Most people have been productive all their lives whether going to work, raising a family, volunteering, etc. Are there opportunities to be productive and do these opportunities suit your interests and abilities?
Health and Wellness
Examples for health and wellness include:
- Brain fitness
- Educational opportunities
Rest and Restoration
This area covers opportunities and spaces to relax.
Examples of leisure include:
- Social activities
- Performances/ guest entertainers
Music can be included in each one of these categories because music is often a big part of our lives. Music can remind us of special days or events. It connects us with emotions, helps us energize and also reduces stress.
Music Benefits For Dementia
One of the specific things that Orchard will provide to the residents are specific music programs. Why music? Because music has many benefits.
- The part of the brain that involves music is less affected by dementia.
- Music stimulates memory
- People living with dementia are able to connect to music.
- People living with dementia are able to sing even when they are unable to speak.
- Music is a way to stay engaged and connected
- Rhythm is used to help people move and communicate.
- Music is connected to emotional memories.
- Music has been proven to reduce stress.
Read more about how music boosts brain activity here
Best Types Of Music For Dementia
Not just any music will do. Music is individual.
Most people have strong connections to music from their teenage years and young adulthood because this is the time in life when big events happen and when our hormones are changing. So even if the events were not really big, they felt like big events.
- If someone was born in the 40’s, the music that they may resonate with the most will be music of the 50’s and 60’s.
- If someone has been part of a religious community, this music can be a significant part of their life.
- Music is individual and finding out which music a person likes is important.
An April 2018 study reports that “objective evidence from brain imaging shows personally meaningful music is an alternative route for communicating with patients who have Alzheimer’s disease.”
Orchard at Athens believes it’s important to incorporate music for dementia care, and will incorporate the Music and Memory program. Music and Memory is an individual program designed to promote memories, engagement and a sense of well-being. Please contact us for more information about our programs.