Holding Onto Dignity With Dementia

One of the biggest challenges for people with dementia is retaining a sense of identity and meaning in life. How do people do this when they lose the ability to learn and retain new information, are confused about time and place, and have to rely on others to do things they once did independently? Researchers in the Netherlands conducted interviews with 14 people having mild to moderate dementia in order to answer this question. Personal dignity reflects people’s sense of […] https://www.foxvalleymemoryproject.org/holding-onto-dignity-with-dementia/

The Healing Power of the Arts

One of the strengths of the Fox Valley Memory Project (FVMP) is its commitment to giving people living with dementia and their care partners opportunities for arts engagement. This includes people still living in their homes, as well as those who have moved to residential care. Since we began, the FVMP has sponsored annual community events to showcase various forms of creativity. We began with a Poetry Party with Alzheimer Poetry Project founder, Gary Glazner (http://www.alzpoetry.com/). Gary has an international […] https://www.foxvalleymemoryproject.org/the-healing-power-of-the-arts/

What Does the Decline in Dementia Prevalence Really Mean?

A new study of over 21,000 Americans age 65 and older has shown that the prevalence of dementia declined significantly between 2000 and 2012. This sounds like good news—and it is—but you need to dig a bit deeper into the study to see what’s really going on.  All the participants in this research are enrolled in a huge study of older adults in the United States called the Health and Retirement Study (HRS). Beginning in 1992, researchers at the University […] https://www.foxvalleymemoryproject.org/what-does-the-decline-in-dementia-prevalence-really-mean/

Group Singing Creates Joy!

A recent study published in one of the top gerontology journals confirms what many people in the Fox Valley have already learned: group singing has many benefits for people with dementia and their care partners. Researchers in England interviewed seventeen couples who participated in a variety of types of singing groups. Everyone agreed that the group singing experiences were joyful and accessible. Before describing how they conducted the research and analyzed the results, the researchers began bystating, “The majority of […] https://www.foxvalleymemoryproject.org/group-singing-creates-joy/

Driving Safely: Does Your Doctor Know Best?

One of the most robust findings about aging is that as we get older, we slow down not only in our motor responses, but also in the time it takes us to make decisions. This is especially true in situations (like roundabouts!) where a lot of information needs to be processed quickly. All of us know older people who have changed their driving habits because they no longer see well at night, or they no longer feel confident on crowded […] https://www.foxvalleymemoryproject.org/driving-safely-does-your-doctor-know-best/

The Sniff Test

Researchers have known for a number of years that people with Alzheimer’s dementia have a poorer sense of smell than persons without dementia. Not having a good sense of odors can reduce enjoyment of life because of the connection between odors and tastes, and it can also be dangerous if a person doesn’t smell smoke or a gas leak. We don’t realize how we process scents all day long and how this contributes to our orientation toward the world. I […] https://www.foxvalleymemoryproject.org/the-sniff-test/

Connected in Caring

A gentleman who is providing full time care for his wife who is experiencing moderate memory loss recently asked me how he would ask and accept assistance. He says when he thinks about finding support, he immediately stops because he tells himself that he should be able to do this himself and would see himself as a “mooch.” Those messages or self-talk that are ingrained in us are hard to recognize and can be even harder to change. If you […] https://www.foxvalleymemoryproject.org/connected-in-caring/
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