Dementia affects over 5 million people in the United States. Facilities that are overworked and understaffed sometimes characterize behaviors of older people with dementia as “resistant behavior.” Nursing homes and long-term care facilities jump to chemical restraints (drugs) to manage what they characterize as “disruptive” behavior of dementia residents, when in reality dementia residents do not recognize/remember caregivers or routines. The cheap solution? Drugs. Overuse of psychotropic drugs is an indicator of understaffing and of the facility putting profit over their residents (by understaffing and relying upon drugs versus providing staff who have time to give care).

In recent years, studies and the Alive Inside documentary (www.aliveinside.us/) have demonstrated that personalized music playlists for older dementia residents has a positive outcome and minimizes what caregivers perceive as “disruptive” behavior. In this most recent study, dementia residents had improved mood, more eye contact, smiling, face relaxation and more responsiveness. This most recent study suggests that social workers in long-term care facilities use a personalized music therapy as an intervention tool. For a link to the most recent study click here.

Note, a personalized music playlist is important. The dementia resident is only going to respond to music that they personally enjoy or have fond memories of.

If you have any questions or concerns about the care your loved one is receiving in a nursing home or residential care facility, please contact Wendy York at York Law Firm to get more information at 916-643-2200 or contact us online. York Law Firm helps nursing home residents and their families to stop elder neglect and to hold nursing homes accountable. We are dedicated to representing elders and dependent adults who have been neglected or abused.

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