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Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders are now the fourth leading cause of death among those over 65 years of age. By the year 2040, there will be more than 14 million people diagnosed with these illnesses; this is three times more than those currently diagnosed. Statistics indicate that for every two people who reach the age of 85, one will be afflicted with Alzheimer's disease.
Patients with Alzheimer's disease are often isolated and have poor social interaction with other patients and care-givers. Music therapy can promote better verbal communication and socialization skills and can also have a positive effect on mood level and reality orientation. Recent studies suggest that patients with cognitive disabilities may be especially responsive to this form of therapy.
The challenge of developing meaningful activities for Alzheimer's disease patients is a difficult one. Therapeutic activities which rely on long-term memory skills and involve simple, repetitive, sequential motions may help support the remaining abilities of patients with Alzheimer's disease. Dignified and adult-like chores or tasks can help nurture a sense of self-worth and competency, encourage independence, preserve the integrity of the individual, and maintain functional abilities
Daily programs of activities are designed to meet each individualâ s abilities and needs. For those residents who are verbally communicative a routine of structured programs featuring discussion groups, exercise, music, crafts, art and horticulture provide stimulation and enjoyment.
Another program component consists of involvement in home-like activities that draw from familiar and past life events, giving the participant a sense of security and self-worth.
- Liza Pequeno
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