Tools for engaging and stimulating those with dementia/Alzheimer's, including the use of music from their younger years.
I did a search for a documentary I watched recently called "Alive Inside," but didn't find any specific mention of it on AC. The documentary shows how music can bring happiness to those who are experiencing severe memory loss and the inability to communicate that goes with it. About five years ago, I had first hand experience of playing music for, and dancing with, my 103 yo grandmother, and afterwards she would be at her most liveliest and most able to communicate. She would tell me stories about her childhood, ask relevant questions about things, and otherwise be happy and engaged for a few minutes. She was mentally stimulated by the music, though I didn't put that together at the time. I played music from her younger years, plus reminded her of popular tunes ("Happy Birthday," "Jingle Bells," etc.). She would be so delighted and happy and sing along where she could to songs I couldn't believe she remembered. I thought I'd start a discussion about the effect of music on those with memory loss because it's not a well-known treatment, and I think there is a place for it in any memory care treatment or facility. Also, if anyone wants to add other things that bring happiness to those with dementia - fidget mats or other things - I'd like to learn more about things that bring happiness and some quality of life to those who need it.