The Alzheimer’s and Dementia Caregivers Community
Life's journey has been interrupted for more than 5.4 million people who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease and many others who have some form of dementia. The tragedy is compounded for the family members and caregivers who watch helplessly as memories of the journey fade from their loved one's consciousness.
This is a community to help caregivers and family members explore ideas to engage a person with memory loss, and to share the joys of a journey remembered. Gayle Horton, founder of The Journey Remembered, is a geriatric nurse with more than 30 years experience helping families cope with the challenges of aging. Gayle shares her experiences in her blog, in hopes that you will find tools and techniques that will help you.
Alzheimer's has an eight to ten year progression once the person is diagnosed. As the disease advances, the person begins to sleep more and shut out the world around them when they cannot participate in day to day activities. Family members express concern when mom or dad can no longer read or even watch television.
One of the tools Gayle has developed is The Journey Remembered DVDs. These powerful tools grew out of Gayle's first-hand experience with patients experiencing memory loss, who reacted favorably to certain types of positive mental and visual stimulation. Gayle observed in memory loss patients that a portion of their brains were still functioning and they could enjoy some activities. To find the best way to engage them on a regular basis in a meaningful way, Gayle spent several years testing different types of entertainment for Alzheimer's and dementia patients, resulting in the concept behind The Journey Remembered DVDs.
The Journey Remembered DVDs coordinate music and imagery into visual psychotherapy. They provide a source of enjoyment that engages and entertains people with Alzheimer's and all other forms of memory loss. These videos have taken images of people, children, and animals and coordinated them with appropriate high quality music in a type of video programming that reaches the impaired person in a calming and enjoyable way. The DVDs should be used in place of regular television. Television may create negative responses from the person with impaired thinking.
Today these DVD's are being utilized around the country in nursing homes, assisted living communities, memory care units, and private homes. Those using the videos are convinced they are making a difference.
Caregivers describe this DVD "as a great tool for a caregiver to create discussion and conversation." The caregivers also comment that someone with Alzheimer's has a limited attention span and the short stories help them stay engaged for the entire 55 minutes. When played frequently, the DVD's begin to access deep rooted memories. As the Alzheimer's patients become more familiar with the stories, they begin to share their own memories.
The anecdotal evidence reveals the therapeutic value of the DVDs. Please review our short video highlighting interviews with senior industry professionals discussing the importance of the use of appropriate entertainment for someone with Alzheimer's.