Dementia/Alzheimers - Guided Imagery and Meditation Blog | Health Journeys Find helpful information and tips on Health Journeys' blog. Our guided imagery and meditation blog features content authored by Belleruth Naparstek http://blog.healthjourneys.com/dementia-alzheimers/feed/atom.html 2017-05-22T17:32:24-04:00 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management Is There Guided Imagery For An Aunt With Dementia And Sundown Syndrome? 2015-08-18T00:00:00-04:00 2015-08-18T00:00:00-04:00 http://blog.healthjourneys.com/ask-belleruth/is-there-guided-imagery-for-an-aunt-with-dementia-and-sundown-syndrome.html Belleruth Naparstek emediacy@gmail.com <div class="K2FeedImage"><img src="http://blog.healthjourneys.com/media/k2/items/cache/6e58257cbaf87c4bce0b1da824c3f3aa_S.jpg" alt="Is There Guided Imagery For An Aunt With Dementia And Sundown Syndrome?" /></div><div class="K2FeedIntroText"><p>Question:</p> <p>My 86-yr old aunt is in the middle stages of Alzheimer's. She lives in a nearby assisted living facility and I, along with two other sisters, are her family caregivers. As the Alzheimer's progresses she is becoming more anxious (Sundowner's Syndrome) and depressed. I have used several of your guided imagery recordings over the years to help me and I was wondering if there is something you could recommend to ease her depression and anxiety. She was a music teacher in the past and yet I can't get her interested in listening to music to help relax her. I am hoping that listening to a human voice at night might bring her some comfort. Is there anything you can recommend?</p> <p>Many thanks!</p> </div><div class="K2FeedFullText"> <p>Dear Charlotte,</p> <p>You are a good niece! ☺</p> <p>We've been getting a lot of queries lately about Sundown Syndrome – three this week alone... makes me wonder if there wasn't some recent national media attention on it.</p> <p>In any case, there's some excellent information (that you've probably already found) on the Mayo Clinic's website, with a good list of <a href="http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/alzheimers-disease/expert-answers/sundowning/faq-20058511" target="_blank" title="Tips for Alzheimers Caregivers"><strong>tips for caregivers</strong></a>.</p> <p>Sometimes guided imagery can be very helpful for Sundown Syndrome in mid-stage Alzheimer's patients, but not always - it's possible (though not likely) it could create more agitation. So it's best to start out with just a few minutes of one to assess the impact before springing for a bunch of these.</p> <p>I'd recommend starting with the <a href="http://www.healthjourneys.com/Store/Products/Healthful-Sleep-Health-Journeys/13" target="_blank" title="Healthful Sleep"><strong>Healthful Sleep</strong></a> imagery first - both voice and music are especially soothing on this recording, and the images are very supportive, protective and reassuring. See what happens. If it helps, stick with it, making sure it gets played at roughly the same time each late afternoon or evening. Routine and structure help!</p> <p>If it looks like she likes it but the impact is wearing off, you could try another - perhaps the <a href="http://www.healthjourneys.com/Store/Products/Panic-Attacks/360" target="_blank" title="Guided Meditations for Help With Panic Attacks"><strong>Panic Attack</strong></a> imagery, which is also particularly soothing with arguably <strong>Steve Kohn</strong>'s most calming music. The music alone can be found on Steve's <a href="http://www.healthjourneys.com/Store/Products/Meditative-Reflections/398" target="_blank" title="Meditative Reflections"><strong>Meditative Reflections</strong></a> - a wonderful, stand-alone piece that I personally like to play while I'm working on a difficult piece of writing. (Great for writer's twitchiness syndrome!)</p> <p>You may also want to try a man's voice, to see if she likes that even better. If so, I'd recommend <strong>David Illig</strong>'s <a href="http://www.healthjourneys.com/Store/Products/Calm-Relaxed/364" target="_blank" title="Become More Calm &amp; Relaxed: Self-Hypnosis &amp; Subliminal Learning"><strong>Calm &amp; Relaxed</strong></a>.</p> <p>I hope this helps. Best wishes to you all.</p> <p>Belleruth</p> <p>p.s. If you liked this post, you might enjoy getting our weekly e-news with other articles just like it. If so, <a href="http://eepurl.com/peo4j" target="_blank" title="Helath Journeys Newsletter Sign Up"><strong>sign up here</strong></a>!</p></div> <div class="K2FeedImage"><img src="http://blog.healthjourneys.com/media/k2/items/cache/6e58257cbaf87c4bce0b1da824c3f3aa_S.jpg" alt="Is There Guided Imagery For An Aunt With Dementia And Sundown Syndrome?" /></div><div class="K2FeedIntroText"><p>Question:</p> <p>My 86-yr old aunt is in the middle stages of Alzheimer's. She lives in a nearby assisted living facility and I, along with two other sisters, are her family caregivers. As the Alzheimer's progresses she is becoming more anxious (Sundowner's Syndrome) and depressed. I have used several of your guided imagery recordings over the years to help me and I was wondering if there is something you could recommend to ease her depression and anxiety. She was a music teacher in the past and yet I can't get her interested in listening to music to help relax her. I am hoping that listening to a human voice at night might bring her some comfort. Is there anything you can recommend?</p> <p>Many thanks!</p> </div><div class="K2FeedFullText"> <p>Dear Charlotte,</p> <p>You are a good niece! ☺</p> <p>We've been getting a lot of queries lately about Sundown Syndrome – three this week alone... makes me wonder if there wasn't some recent national media attention on it.</p> <p>In any case, there's some excellent information (that you've probably already found) on the Mayo Clinic's website, with a good list of <a href="http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/alzheimers-disease/expert-answers/sundowning/faq-20058511" target="_blank" title="Tips for Alzheimers Caregivers"><strong>tips for caregivers</strong></a>.</p> <p>Sometimes guided imagery can be very helpful for Sundown Syndrome in mid-stage Alzheimer's patients, but not always - it's possible (though not likely) it could create more agitation. So it's best to start out with just a few minutes of one to assess the impact before springing for a bunch of these.</p> <p>I'd recommend starting with the <a href="http://www.healthjourneys.com/Store/Products/Healthful-Sleep-Health-Journeys/13" target="_blank" title="Healthful Sleep"><strong>Healthful Sleep</strong></a> imagery first - both voice and music are especially soothing on this recording, and the images are very supportive, protective and reassuring. See what happens. If it helps, stick with it, making sure it gets played at roughly the same time each late afternoon or evening. Routine and structure help!</p> <p>If it looks like she likes it but the impact is wearing off, you could try another - perhaps the <a href="http://www.healthjourneys.com/Store/Products/Panic-Attacks/360" target="_blank" title="Guided Meditations for Help With Panic Attacks"><strong>Panic Attack</strong></a> imagery, which is also particularly soothing with arguably <strong>Steve Kohn</strong>'s most calming music. The music alone can be found on Steve's <a href="http://www.healthjourneys.com/Store/Products/Meditative-Reflections/398" target="_blank" title="Meditative Reflections"><strong>Meditative Reflections</strong></a> - a wonderful, stand-alone piece that I personally like to play while I'm working on a difficult piece of writing. (Great for writer's twitchiness syndrome!)</p> <p>You may also want to try a man's voice, to see if she likes that even better. If so, I'd recommend <strong>David Illig</strong>'s <a href="http://www.healthjourneys.com/Store/Products/Calm-Relaxed/364" target="_blank" title="Become More Calm &amp; Relaxed: Self-Hypnosis &amp; Subliminal Learning"><strong>Calm &amp; Relaxed</strong></a>.</p> <p>I hope this helps. Best wishes to you all.</p> <p>Belleruth</p> <p>p.s. If you liked this post, you might enjoy getting our weekly e-news with other articles just like it. If so, <a href="http://eepurl.com/peo4j" target="_blank" title="Helath Journeys Newsletter Sign Up"><strong>sign up here</strong></a>!</p></div> What to Do for an Agitated, Sleepless Dementia Patient 2015-03-10T00:00:00-04:00 2015-03-10T00:00:00-04:00 http://blog.healthjourneys.com/ask-belleruth/what-to-do-for-an-agitated-sleepless-dementia-patient.html Belleruth Naparstek emediacy@gmail.com <div class="K2FeedImage"><img src="http://blog.healthjourneys.com/media/k2/items/cache/f9981679f9291cc4ef0352663a519d1d_S.jpg" alt="What to Do for an Agitated, Sleepless Dementia Patient" /></div><div class="K2FeedIntroText"><p>Question:</p> <p>My father has suffered from dementia for years. He no longer has clarity in his mind and does not recognize me or my brother. He lives in a special care facility where he gets good care.</p> <p>The staff recently told me that he was becoming more agitated and sleepless during the night. As a result, he is extremely tired and confused during the day.<br />Any suggestions as to what kind of tools might help him, or will nothing reach him at this point?</p> <p>Thanks. Arnold</p> </div><div class="K2FeedFullText"> <p>Answer:</p> <p>Dear Arnold,</p> <p>If you haven't already done so, you might want to start bringing him his favorite music from a key time in his past – perhaps some Frank Sinatra ballads from when he was courting your mother? (Just guessing here – my parents used to go all ga-ga whenever they heard Ezio Pinza singing <em>Some Enchanted Evening</em>... anything from South Pacific made them happy!) Sometimes powerful associations with love and joy will get through the fog.</p> <p>Soothing aromas might do it too. The nose sometimes knows what the neo-cortex has forgotten. So perhaps you could supply him and his staff with some soothing essential oils that can be sprayed on his pillow or applied to his skin before bedtime, or once he wakes up.</p> <p>Therapeutic massage might speak to his muscle memory in a way that words no longer can. Gentle, nourishing touch or energy work bypasses the thinking brain and literally gets through the skin.</p> <p>And the soothing words and calming music on our guided imagery for <a href="http://www.healthjourneys.com/Store/Products/Healthful-Sleep-Health-Journeys/13" target="_blank" title="A Meditation to Help You with Healthful Sleep"><strong>Healthful Sleep</strong></a> could help with his sleep too – again, the voice tone and music get through to the primitive brain even when the words have lost their meaning. Same with imagery for Stress during the day.</p> <p>In other words, appeal to his senses. You may be able to connect with him there, and soothe his anxiety in that way. It's worth a shot.</p> <p>And given what you're dealing with, you might want to consider listening yourself to either my guided imagery for <strong><a href="http://www.healthjourneys.com/Store/Products/Caregiver-Stress/482" target="_blank" title="A Guided Meditation To Help With Caregiver Stress">Caregiver Stress</a></strong> or <strong>Lynn Joseph</strong>'s excellent set of audios called <a href="http://www.healthjourneys.com/Store/Products/Emotional-Renewal-for-Caregivers-Looking-After-Yourself-While-Helping-a-Loved-One/451" target="_blank" title="Emotional Renewal Guided Imagery for Caregivers: Looking After Yourself While Helping a Loved One"><strong>Emotional Renewal Guided Imagery for Caregivers: Looking After Yourself While Helping a Loved One</strong></a>.</p> <p>All best wishes,</p> <p>Belleruth</p></div> <div class="K2FeedImage"><img src="http://blog.healthjourneys.com/media/k2/items/cache/f9981679f9291cc4ef0352663a519d1d_S.jpg" alt="What to Do for an Agitated, Sleepless Dementia Patient" /></div><div class="K2FeedIntroText"><p>Question:</p> <p>My father has suffered from dementia for years. He no longer has clarity in his mind and does not recognize me or my brother. He lives in a special care facility where he gets good care.</p> <p>The staff recently told me that he was becoming more agitated and sleepless during the night. As a result, he is extremely tired and confused during the day.<br />Any suggestions as to what kind of tools might help him, or will nothing reach him at this point?</p> <p>Thanks. Arnold</p> </div><div class="K2FeedFullText"> <p>Answer:</p> <p>Dear Arnold,</p> <p>If you haven't already done so, you might want to start bringing him his favorite music from a key time in his past – perhaps some Frank Sinatra ballads from when he was courting your mother? (Just guessing here – my parents used to go all ga-ga whenever they heard Ezio Pinza singing <em>Some Enchanted Evening</em>... anything from South Pacific made them happy!) Sometimes powerful associations with love and joy will get through the fog.</p> <p>Soothing aromas might do it too. The nose sometimes knows what the neo-cortex has forgotten. So perhaps you could supply him and his staff with some soothing essential oils that can be sprayed on his pillow or applied to his skin before bedtime, or once he wakes up.</p> <p>Therapeutic massage might speak to his muscle memory in a way that words no longer can. Gentle, nourishing touch or energy work bypasses the thinking brain and literally gets through the skin.</p> <p>And the soothing words and calming music on our guided imagery for <a href="http://www.healthjourneys.com/Store/Products/Healthful-Sleep-Health-Journeys/13" target="_blank" title="A Meditation to Help You with Healthful Sleep"><strong>Healthful Sleep</strong></a> could help with his sleep too – again, the voice tone and music get through to the primitive brain even when the words have lost their meaning. Same with imagery for Stress during the day.</p> <p>In other words, appeal to his senses. You may be able to connect with him there, and soothe his anxiety in that way. It's worth a shot.</p> <p>And given what you're dealing with, you might want to consider listening yourself to either my guided imagery for <strong><a href="http://www.healthjourneys.com/Store/Products/Caregiver-Stress/482" target="_blank" title="A Guided Meditation To Help With Caregiver Stress">Caregiver Stress</a></strong> or <strong>Lynn Joseph</strong>'s excellent set of audios called <a href="http://www.healthjourneys.com/Store/Products/Emotional-Renewal-for-Caregivers-Looking-After-Yourself-While-Helping-a-Loved-One/451" target="_blank" title="Emotional Renewal Guided Imagery for Caregivers: Looking After Yourself While Helping a Loved One"><strong>Emotional Renewal Guided Imagery for Caregivers: Looking After Yourself While Helping a Loved One</strong></a>.</p> <p>All best wishes,</p> <p>Belleruth</p></div> What Can Imagery or Music Do for Alzheimer’s? 2014-04-20T20:00:00-04:00 2014-04-20T20:00:00-04:00 http://blog.healthjourneys.com/ask-belleruth/what-can-imagery-or-music-do-for-alzheimer-s.html Belleruth Naparstek design@emediacy.net <div class="K2FeedIntroText"><p>Dear BR,<br /> <br />I work with patients with Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia.&nbsp; What can you say about using guided imagery with them?&nbsp; And what kind of music do you think is best?<br /> <br />Joan D. </p> <p><strong>Answer:</strong><br /> </p> <p>Dear Joan, <br /> <br />Alzheimer's patients and people with dementia tend to do well with guided imagery – any right brain practice, really - because it’s apprehended in parts of the brain that are still responsive and receptive to it.&nbsp; </p> <p>Even if the person isn’t able to track the meaning of the words and phrases, they still will pick up on the music, voice tone, pacing, emotional content and sensory feel of the experience – the flavor, so to speak.&nbsp; So the imagery is very good for soothing agitation, calming upset or anger, and uplifting depression.&nbsp; So is massage, and so is music by itself. </p></div><div class="K2FeedFullText"><p>Generally speaking, the best music to use for calming and soothing is something with nice, long chords that can entrain the breath; a beat of 60/per minute or so, to encourage a slower, healthier pulse; and a melody that has some heart and lyricism to it, but is repetitive enough not to be too interesting – you don’t want the music to actively grab attention or compete with the voice, but rather to support it.&nbsp; But on the other hand, you don’t want it to be so boring that it’s annoying.&nbsp; People love <a href="https://www.healthjourneys.com/category.aspx?cboAuthor=75" title="Music from Steve Kohn" target="_blank">Steve Kohn’s music</a> because it’s beautiful but still designed to meet these requirements. <br /> <br />So it’s definitely worth a try.&nbsp; Headphones may be irritating, so watch for that!&nbsp;&nbsp; Hope this helps and best of luck.<br /> <br />Belleruth </p></div> <div class="K2FeedIntroText"><p>Dear BR,<br /> <br />I work with patients with Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia.&nbsp; What can you say about using guided imagery with them?&nbsp; And what kind of music do you think is best?<br /> <br />Joan D. </p> <p><strong>Answer:</strong><br /> </p> <p>Dear Joan, <br /> <br />Alzheimer's patients and people with dementia tend to do well with guided imagery – any right brain practice, really - because it’s apprehended in parts of the brain that are still responsive and receptive to it.&nbsp; </p> <p>Even if the person isn’t able to track the meaning of the words and phrases, they still will pick up on the music, voice tone, pacing, emotional content and sensory feel of the experience – the flavor, so to speak.&nbsp; So the imagery is very good for soothing agitation, calming upset or anger, and uplifting depression.&nbsp; So is massage, and so is music by itself. </p></div><div class="K2FeedFullText"><p>Generally speaking, the best music to use for calming and soothing is something with nice, long chords that can entrain the breath; a beat of 60/per minute or so, to encourage a slower, healthier pulse; and a melody that has some heart and lyricism to it, but is repetitive enough not to be too interesting – you don’t want the music to actively grab attention or compete with the voice, but rather to support it.&nbsp; But on the other hand, you don’t want it to be so boring that it’s annoying.&nbsp; People love <a href="https://www.healthjourneys.com/category.aspx?cboAuthor=75" title="Music from Steve Kohn" target="_blank">Steve Kohn’s music</a> because it’s beautiful but still designed to meet these requirements. <br /> <br />So it’s definitely worth a try.&nbsp; Headphones may be irritating, so watch for that!&nbsp;&nbsp; Hope this helps and best of luck.<br /> <br />Belleruth </p></div> Can Cognitive Exercises Prevent the Onset of Dementia? 2009-07-26T19:00:00-04:00 2009-07-26T19:00:00-04:00 http://blog.healthjourneys.com/hot-research/can-cognitive-exercises-prevent-the-onset-of-dementia.html Belleruth Naparstek design@emediacy.net <div class="K2FeedIntroText"><p><img style="margin-right: 10px" alt="" title="" src="http://belleruthnaparstek.com/images/stories/chess-sm.gif" align="left" width="225" height="183" />Researchers from the <strong>University of New South Wales</strong> in Australia systematically reviewed results from clinical trials that examined whether cognitive exercises had any inoculative effect against the onset of dementia. </p> <p>Fifty-four studies were reviewed to identify randomized controlled trials that tested the effect of a discrete cognitive exercise program on neuropsychological performance over time in healthy older adults.</p></div><div class="K2FeedFullText"><p>Seven randomized, controlled trials (RCT’s) met the criteria. Pre- and post scores were&nbsp; analyzed.&nbsp; A strong effect size was observed for cognitive exercise&nbsp; interventions, as compared with wait-and-see control conditions (WMD = 1.07, CI: 0.32-1.83, z = 2.78, N = 7, p = 0.006, N = 3,194).<br /> &nbsp;<br /> RCTs with a follow-up of greater than 2 years did not appear to produce any lower effect sizes than less extended follow-up.&nbsp; (The quality of reporting of trials was in general low.)<br /> &nbsp;<br /> The review concludes that cognitive exercise training in healthy older individuals produces strong and persistent protective effects on neuropsychological performance over time. Transfer of these effects to dementia-relevant domains, such as general cognition and daily functioning, has also been reported in some studies. However, cognitive exercise has yet to be shown to prevent incident dementia in an appropriately designed trial, and this is now an international priority.<br /> <br /><strong>Citation:&nbsp; </strong><a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?Db=pubmed&amp;Cmd=Search&amp;Term=%22Valenzuela%20M%22%5BAuthor%5D&amp;itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DiscoveryPanel.Pubmed_RVAbstractPlus" target="_blank"><strong>Valenzuela M</strong></a>, <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?Db=pubmed&amp;Cmd=Search&amp;Term=%22Sachdev%20P%22%5BAuthor%5D&amp;itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DiscoveryPanel.Pubmed_RVAbstractPlus" target="_blank"><strong>Sachdev P</strong></a>.<strong> <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19225276?ordinalpos=2&amp;itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DefaultReportPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum" title="Can cognitive exercise prevent the onset of dementia? Systematic review of randomized clinical trials with longitudinal follow-up" target="_blank">Can cognitive exercise prevent the onset of dementia? Systematic review of randomized clinical trials with longitudinal follow-up</a>. <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?db=pubmed&amp;term=%22Am%20J%20Geriatr%20Psychiatry%22[Journal]" title="American Journal of Geriatriaric Psychiatry" target="_blank">American Journal of Geriatriaric Psychiatry</a>. 2009 Mar;17 (3): pages 179-87. michaelv@unsw.edu.au.</strong></p></div> <div class="K2FeedIntroText"><p><img style="margin-right: 10px" alt="" title="" src="http://belleruthnaparstek.com/images/stories/chess-sm.gif" align="left" width="225" height="183" />Researchers from the <strong>University of New South Wales</strong> in Australia systematically reviewed results from clinical trials that examined whether cognitive exercises had any inoculative effect against the onset of dementia. </p> <p>Fifty-four studies were reviewed to identify randomized controlled trials that tested the effect of a discrete cognitive exercise program on neuropsychological performance over time in healthy older adults.</p></div><div class="K2FeedFullText"><p>Seven randomized, controlled trials (RCT’s) met the criteria. Pre- and post scores were&nbsp; analyzed.&nbsp; A strong effect size was observed for cognitive exercise&nbsp; interventions, as compared with wait-and-see control conditions (WMD = 1.07, CI: 0.32-1.83, z = 2.78, N = 7, p = 0.006, N = 3,194).<br /> &nbsp;<br /> RCTs with a follow-up of greater than 2 years did not appear to produce any lower effect sizes than less extended follow-up.&nbsp; (The quality of reporting of trials was in general low.)<br /> &nbsp;<br /> The review concludes that cognitive exercise training in healthy older individuals produces strong and persistent protective effects on neuropsychological performance over time. Transfer of these effects to dementia-relevant domains, such as general cognition and daily functioning, has also been reported in some studies. However, cognitive exercise has yet to be shown to prevent incident dementia in an appropriately designed trial, and this is now an international priority.<br /> <br /><strong>Citation:&nbsp; </strong><a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?Db=pubmed&amp;Cmd=Search&amp;Term=%22Valenzuela%20M%22%5BAuthor%5D&amp;itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DiscoveryPanel.Pubmed_RVAbstractPlus" target="_blank"><strong>Valenzuela M</strong></a>, <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?Db=pubmed&amp;Cmd=Search&amp;Term=%22Sachdev%20P%22%5BAuthor%5D&amp;itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DiscoveryPanel.Pubmed_RVAbstractPlus" target="_blank"><strong>Sachdev P</strong></a>.<strong> <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19225276?ordinalpos=2&amp;itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DefaultReportPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum" title="Can cognitive exercise prevent the onset of dementia? Systematic review of randomized clinical trials with longitudinal follow-up" target="_blank">Can cognitive exercise prevent the onset of dementia? Systematic review of randomized clinical trials with longitudinal follow-up</a>. <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?db=pubmed&amp;term=%22Am%20J%20Geriatr%20Psychiatry%22[Journal]" title="American Journal of Geriatriaric Psychiatry" target="_blank">American Journal of Geriatriaric Psychiatry</a>. 2009 Mar;17 (3): pages 179-87. michaelv@unsw.edu.au.</strong></p></div>