I called about a routine service, but the company representative at Medi-Share suprised me by doing this.
Memory ...is the Diary We All Carry With Us. —Oscar Wilde
When's the last time you listened to a song, and it instantly took you back in time? Hymns, concerts, favorite TV theme songs can all instantly engage our hearts and transport us. Thanks to Music & Memory, the power of music to inspire, move, and connect with listeners has taken a new step.
"I want a new drug!' Huey Lewis and the News
Using customized playlists, music engages those struggling with dementia, memory loss, and other cognitive impairments. Music & Memory offers a tool that has reduced pharmaceuticals, no risk of "over-dosing," and available without a prescription! The therapeutic benefits of music provides a critical help for not only patients, but can provide a welcomed respite for exasperated caregiver.
"It's very individualized and person-centered," shares Deborah Ferris, Regional Director, Southeastern US. Appearing on my show recently, Deb explained that, "...each individual has a music fingerprint; no two are alike." In addition, she added why Music & Memory is so effective. "It's because it's about not only identifying which song, but also which artists. It has to be artist specific—just the way we all like to hear our music."
Deborah Ferris' passion for program is personal. Her own mother’s reaction to personalized music over the course of her sixteen-year Alzheimer’s journey, fuels Deborah's drive. Deborah knows first-hand what it’s like to run out of ideas and hope for any way to truly enhance someone’s quality of life. Family and caregivers are so often in need of respite and a way to create new and joyful memories. A collection of music that holds personal meaning for an individual can open up a world of benefits that are beyond imagination for everyone.
Bringing a powerful testimonial, Music & Memory client, Steve McGee shared the impact on his father. Growing emotional, Steve relayed personally watching his father regain memory through using this innovative tool.
After being as skeptical as I was, it's just amazing how music can benefit the families and loved ones with Alzheimer's and dementia. Steve McGee, client
Sundowning, preparing for meals, getting calmed in order to go to bed, represent just a few of the scenarios this program helps. As a pianist for nearly fifty years, I understand the power music to heal, inspire, and uplift. In addition to all that, the power of music now has a strategic use for those who may often seem unreachable. For more information, visit MusicandMemory.org
Peter Rosenberger, a thirty-year caregiver, is the author of Hope for the Caregiver. In addition, Peter hosts a weekly radio show for caregivers on 1510 WLAC, Broadcast Sunday's at 3 PM CST. Furthermore, the program is streamed through IHEART, and the Podcast can be accessed here.e president of Standing With Hope.
In addition to his books, Peter also recently release his new CD, SONGS FOR THE CAREGIVER.
Many caregivers nobly work to protect the dignity of their loved ones. Yet, how many discussions occur regarding the dignity of caregiver? The dignity of a caregiver is worth preserving, yet is often trampled underfoot in the course of the caregiving journey.
A demoralized caregiver is an at-risk caregiver
While menial tasks of caregiving often seem to diminish dignity, it's the relationship dynamics that most affect a caregiver's heart. The countless flash points of relationship drama beat down the spirit of a caregiver. Caregivers can be reduced to bitter tears at the hurtful comments erupting from impaired loved ones. From accusations of theft or neglect, to constant belittling and criticism, a caregiver is often the recipient of barrage of dispiriting indictments. One can only listen to so much of those things before starting to inwardly accept them. Those drama moments can arise from the disease, the impairment, the poor behavior of a vulnerable loved one, or the "side-line expertise" of family and friends. Compounding those issues, caregivers frequently judge themselves—often harsher than their critics. A demoralized caregiver is an at-risk caregiver. Depression, health issues, destructive coping mechanisms, and other agonies await just around the corner for a dispirited caregiver. As the caregiver journey lengthens, healthier caregivers discover the goal changes from winning those flash point moments, to circumventing them. The avoidance of these conflict moments, however, is not from an unwillingness to confront, but rather from an awareness of the futility. It is simply not sensible to argue with a disease, nor is it wise to engage with critics who lack experience.
To withdraw from an argument may not make you the winner, but what you have saved is your own dignity and grace. —Unknown
As a black-belt in the martial art of Hap-kido, I teach defensive blocks. The concept is to equip students with the ability to effectively parry a strike from an assailant. At live speaking events, I often demonstrate this by bringing up a volunteer from the audience. I also ask the audience if any of them have been assaulted by an impaired loved one in their charge. Nearly every hand shoots up when asked that question. Consistently, the audience members who've suffered verbal assaults remains unanimous. The concept of protecting our hearts mirrors the actions of protecting our bodies: keep hands (guard) up, and redirect. We learn to never give an easy target, while diverting the energy of the assailant. In Hap Kido, we acquire judgment on how much force is needed to end the altercation. Our focus is not inflicting punishment, however, but rather on preserving our safety. In the process, we realize that "any fight we walk away from, counts as a win." Granted, some situations will require us to use more force than others, and while we may walk away from a fight, that doesn't mean we didn't engage. It also doesn't mean the assailant went unscathed. It simply reflects that our safety and well being is paramount.
Don't pick up the rope!
In a caregiving situation, and by extension the family drama that ensues, the same principles apply. We do not have to go every fight we are invited to attend. The key is to respond rather than react. We can also maintain our own sense of repose and not engage in the stream of discord that often comes our way. Loved ones or family and friends often want to engage us in what seems like a tug of war. While a fun team activity to play in school, there is no dignified way to end a Tug of War contest. If you lose, you end up on your face. If you win, you end up on your read. Either way, there is no graceful exit. Relationship dramas orbiting caregivers lead to relentless tug of war dramas that wear down the self esteem of a caregiver. Recovering and preserving the dignity becomes imperative to the well-being of a caregiver. Making yourself a small target, redirecting the assault, and refusing to "pick up the rope," equip caregivers with another set of tools that help strengthen the weary hearts of caregivers.
Peter Rosenberger, a thirty year caregiver, is the author of Hope for the Caregiver. Peter hosts a radio show for caregivers heard weekly on 1510 WLAC broadcast Sunday's at 3 PM CST. (Podcast as well as streamed through Iheart Radio) Peter is the president of Standing With Hope, a non-profit ministry with two program areas: a prosthetic limb outreach to amputees in West Africa, and an outreach to family caregivers.
The Morning Pointe Foundation invites the greater Nashville, Tennessee area to a FREE community awareness event to hear Kim Campbell, wife and caregiver of country music legend Glen Campbell.
Mrs. Campbell will speak about her personal journey as an Alzheimer’s caregiver March 30 at 7 p.m., at Brentwood Baptist Church (7777 Concord Road in Brentwood, Tennessee).
Ashley Briggs, from Morning Pointe in Franklin, TN, called the show to share more about this event.
Jay Wasack (I call him Inspector Gadget) dropped by the studio today to share some tech help for caregivers. Listen to this clip about a new product to help with organizing medications!