Articles tagged with: Therapies/Remedies/Treatments

Ways to Relieve Knee Pain

Posted by: The Bristal

While people may experience knee pain at any age, in older adults it is typically caused by changes in the body due to aging. Those changes can include weakening of the bones, decreased muscle strength, inflammation from arthritis and other conditions.

According to the National Institutes of Health, osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis among older people and a frequent cause of debilitating pain. It occurs when the cartilage that protects the knee’s bones breaks down. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 1 in 2 people may develop knee osteoarthritis by the age … read more

Posted in: Lifestyle Blog
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Dementia Therapies Used at The Bristal

Posted by: The Bristal

Although there is no cure for most types of dementia, many effective therapies can greatly improve the quality of life for people living with dementia. The dementia therapies we use at The Bristal are cases in point. Here are a few that are particularly effective:

Movement Programs

Our movement programs are not your typical trip to the gym. The objective is to incorporate movement into recreational group activities, such as dancing, bowling, volleyball or Wii games. We tailor these activities to the specific needs of participants, each of whom is carefully evaluated by physical and occupational therapists. As a result, participants benefit … read more

Posted in: Alzheimer’s & Memory Care
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Learning a Musical Instrument: Music Therapy for Seniors

Posted by: The Bristal

There’s a great deal of research today that suggests that music offers tremendous therapeutic benefit to people in the later stages of their lives. It has a calming, soothing effect that can lift a burdened spirit, whisk one away to a special time that is inextricably tied to a song, or give someone something pure to enjoy simply for the sake of enjoying it. As the saying goes, music soothes the savage beast. What beast? Those nagging pressures of life that stack up and can shadow even the sunniest of dispositions.

But if listening to music is good for seniors, … read more

Posted in: Caregiving & Family
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Creating Quality Time: Dementia and Improvisation

Posted by: The Bristal

Spending quality time with someone who has dementia can become more difficult as their disease progresses. Many times adult children and family members aren’t quite sure how to deal with issues that commonly arise. When a senior with Alzheimer’s disease fails to remember important things such as where their home is or that a spouse has passed away, it isn’t easy to know how to respond.

Alzheimer’s experts have long encouraged families to “step into their world.” But for many, that advice isn’t enough. They aren’t sure what that really means and how to do it. Interestingly enough, the answers … read more

Posted in: Alzheimer’s & Memory Care
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The Montessori Method in Memory Care

Posted by: The Bristal

Some exciting new work is being done in the field of Alzheimer’s and dementia care that has linked the much-celebrated Montessori method of teaching children as an effective way for reaching, engaging, and reducing anxiety in patients suffering from memory-related diseases. The core tenet of the Montessori method is to consider children’s needs and capabilities in concert with one another. So, in Alzheimer’s and dementia care, blending the knowledge of what patients like to do with what they are able to do is proving a successful approach.

For example, Montessori teachers create lessons and activities designed to engage the brain, … read more

Posted in: Alzheimer’s & Memory Care
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Mobility and Parkinson’s Disease

Posted by: The Bristal

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is officially classified as a movement disorder that causes problems with both controlling and initiating movement. Among the challenges someone living with PD faces is muscle rigidity, balance problems, shuffling gait, slowed movement, and an inability to control smooth muscle functions. The tremors and shaking we commonly associate with the disease are caused by this loss of control.

While there is unfortunately no cure for Parkinson’s disease, lifestyle changes, medication and adaptive equipment can help manage the symptoms.

Exercise is Critical to Managing Parkinson’s

Getting regular exercise is a vital component to maintaining balance, mobility and daily … read more

Posted in: Caregiving & Family, Lifestyle Blog
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Improving the Quality of Life for Alzheimer’s Patients

Posted by: The Bristal

One of the more popular quotes from the poet and writer Maya Angelou was that “people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” It turns out to be true for those living with Alzheimer’s disease. A study at the University of Iowa explored how emotions linger even after memory fails. It revealed how important creating a positive environment can be for improving the quality of life for Alzheimer’s patients.

Feelings without Memory in Alzheimer’s

This small study was conducted with a total of 34 older adults. Half … read more

Posted in: Alzheimer’s & Memory Care
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Parkinson’s Disease: Symptoms and Treatments

Posted by: The Bristal

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disease that occurs when your body stops producing enough of a chemical called dopamine. In a normally functioning human brain, neurons produce the dopamine needed to relay messages between the brain and the rest of the body. Those messages are responsible for coordinating smooth muscle movements. When more than 60% of these neurons are damaged, brain cells become impaired. The result is neurodegeneration and Parkinson’s. The majority of people who develop the disease are over the age of 50. PD is the 14th leading cause of death in the United States. While there … read more

Posted in: Lifestyle Blog
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Pet Therapy & Assistance Dogs: Benefit People with Alzheimer’s

Posted by: The Bristal

The Role Man’s Best Friend Plays in Managing Alzheimer’s

Pet Therapy has slowly gained acceptance since it was first introduced in the early 1990s. Man’s best friend, in particular, has become a common part of daily life in nursing homes, assisted living communities, hospice programs and Alzheimer’s care centers. These furry visitors can help improve the mental and physical health of their human friends. A more recent project that originated in Scotland and has traveled to the United Kingdom is exploring how dogs can be trained to assist people with Alzheimer’s … read more

Posted in: Alzheimer’s & Memory Care
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Benefits of Creative Activities for Senior Citizens

Posted by: The Bristal

Research shows both the acts of creative expression and social interaction are vital to the mental and physical well being of senior citizens. According to Gene D. Cohen, MD, PhD of the Center for Aging, Health & Humanities, George Washington University, “Expressing ourselves can actually improve health, both mentally and physically.”

Dr. Cohen’s research claims the following benefits of creative activity:

•  Creativity reinforces essential connections between brain cells, including those responsible for memory.

•  Creativity strengthens morale. It alters the way we respond to problems and sometimes allows us to transcend … read more

Posted in: Caregiving & Family, Senior Care
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Natural Remedies to Treat Arthritis

Posted by: The Bristal

One in every five adults in this country lives with arthritis. Another 300,000 children under the age of 18 have a diagnosis of some form of the disease. There is no cure for this disabling condition and few options for treatment. It is one of the reasons people turn to supplements and other natural remedies for relief. According to Consumer Reports, the dietary supplements industry in this country pulls in $28 billion a year. That is double the amount of money Americans spend on prescription medications. Top sellers are products that promote healthy joints. Unfortunately, it is an industry with … read more

Posted in: Lifestyle Blog
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Health Benefits Of Pet Therapy

Posted by: Kate Schneider, Reflections Programming Specialist

Pet Assisted Therapy is one avenue used in recreation or activities to bring about positive outcomes. Various types of animals are used to promote the health and happiness of an individual.

According to an article in the International Journal of Psychosocial Rehabilitation, a study done by Joanne Roth proved that there are indeed numerous benefits. Emotionally, people are inclined to be more at ease when an animal is present. With the introduction of pet assisted therapy, we can facilitate an environment where a person can feel more comfortable and relaxed in their surroundings.

Studies done at the University Of Missouri College Of … read more

Posted in: Caregiving & Family
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Health Benefits of Music

Posted by: The Bristal

The health benefits are indisputable.

According to Webster’s dictionary, music is defined as vocal, instrumental, or mechanical sounds having rhythm, melody, or harmony. What we personally view as music might vary from person to person but the health benefits are indisputable.

According to Harvard Medical School, listening to music offers the following benefits:

Boosts the metabolic function, including the immune system
Improves recovery from surgery
Improves gastric symptoms
Reduces anxiety and depression
Regulates energy
Speeds up the metabolic recovery from stress
Provides pain relief
Stimulates a sense of meaning and self in someone with dementia
Provides language and movement stimulation as part of recovery

Whether your preference … read more

Posted in: Lifestyle Blog, Senior Care
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Pet Companions for Seniors

Posted by: The Bristal

Often times, seniors become depressed when facing a major change in life, the loss of a loved one or the physical changes that come with aging. Bringing a furry friend into the home could be the answer. Pet owners would agree animals ease loneliness, reduce stress, and provide unconditional love & affection. In addition, studies also show playing with animals has physical benefits. It keeps blood pressure in check, helps lower cholesterol & reduces stress.

The next step is finding the right fit. Reader’s Digest suggest these tips for choosing a new pet:

• Take a look … read more

Posted in: Dear Maryellen, Lifestyle Blog, Senior Care
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Musical Training Can Overcome Age-related Hearing Loss

Posted by: The Bristal

Dear Readers,

Hmmmm… did you know that lifelong musical training, particularly when continued late in life, can help overcome age-related hearing loss, according to an interesting new study? Are there any musicians or serious music aficionados out there? Have you heard about “developing an ear”? Well, here’s some good news. Listen up.

Researchers at Northwestern University’s Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory measured how the brains of young musicians, older musicians, and non-musicians responded to auditory stimuli. As published in the journal of Neurobiology of Aging, they found that older musicians had what they called a “distinct neural advantage” over young musicians and non-musicians — … read more

Posted in: Dear Maryellen, Senior Care
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