An Indianapolis elder law attorney provides help to individuals who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and to family members of Alzheimer’s patients. Alzheimer’s is a difficult condition to cope with because a person can live many years with the condition and can become progressively worse throughout these years. Often, patients with Alzheimer’s become unable to live alone and need specialized care in a nursing home setting. Those who do live in their own homes will typically need a family caregiver, help from a home health aide, or both.
Unfortunately, as Alzheimer’s progresses, patients will lose more and more of their memory and mental function. This makes specialized care necessary and Frank & Kraft helps patients and their families to make plans for necessary care and to make sure they can pay for it. Despite having memory problems, Alzheimer’s patients still deserve to have the highest possible quality of life which means finding the right care environment.
Indiana University professors have recently been exploring one possible way to improve the quality of life of patients with Alzheimer’s: the use of music to help invoke memories. Big Ten Network has the story about the ways in which Indiana University is helping seniors with Alzheimer’s to use music to relax and remember.
Can Music Help Alzheimer’s Patients to Remember?
According to Big Ten Network, Indiana University is currently offering a service learning course called Music and Memory. The course is taught by a visiting lecturer who teaches in the Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology. An ethnomusicologist specializes in the study of music, and the ways in which music goes beyond being just sound and entertainment to have a meaningful impact on a person’s life. Ethnomusicology is not a hard science, but instead the field focuses on fieldwork encounters with people. The goal is to take oral histories and learn personalized one-on-one stories about the ways in which music impacts people’s lives. In particular, one key focus is on the ways in which music can actually impact health and wellness.
As part of the visiting professor’s coursework with Indiana University, the Music and Memory service learning course is taking steps to help expose Alzheimer’s patients to music as a means of promoting memories and further discovering the health benefits of music. When the visiting professor first arrived in Bloomington, Indiana, she immediately began working on getting facilities certified in her music program for Alzheimer’s patients. Certifying each facility costs approximately $1,000, which goes towards training staff members and purchasing iPods and other equipment.
One of the facilities where Alzheimer’s patients are able to participate in her Music and Memory program is called Better Day Club. Better Day Club is an adult daycare program for patients who are in the early to moderate stages of Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia. Many seniors at the Better Day Club have experienced positive effects from the music, including one participant whose persistent anxiety was reduced by listening to a Frank Sinatra song.
The Indiana University senior who was playing the music for the Alzheimer’s patient indicated that both the wife of the man whose anxiety was lessened and the director of the Better Day Club were moved to tears by the impact that the music had on the patient. The student is one of many in the class who are doing fieldwork involving exposing Alzheimer’s patients to music. The students also read articles about how music can impact dementia and Alzheimer’s patients. Students also do fieldwork at the other certified facility in the area, which is at Gentry Park Senior Living.
Getting Help from An Indianapolis Elder Law Attorney
Alzheimer’s patients deserve to have the best quality of life, whether their lives are enhanced through music or through maintaining family and community connections or through living in a high quality care environment with compassionate caregivers.
It is very important for Alzheimer’s patients and their families to carefully research care options so a patient can be provided with the level of care that he or she deserves. There may be a need for different types of care as Alzheimer’s progresses, with patients in the early stages of the disease requiring less intensive assistance or supervision than patients in the later stages.
Frank & Kraft can offer guidance and advice on researching care options and on taking steps to protect assets while ensuring that you can pay for high quality care. To find out more about how our legal team can provide assistance to patients with Alzheimer’s and their families in making a care plan, join us for a free seminar. You can also give us a call at 317-684-1100 or contact us online to get personalized advice form an Indianapolis elder law attorney.