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Every Moment Matters - Guest Post with Karina Stickle

This month we're excited to hear from Karina Stickle, an incredible human who is passionate about all things senior care, life enrichment, and overall zest for life. Her enthusiasm is contagious! Karina is currently Content and Community Program Manager with GetSetUp as well as host of Engaged in Rec, a podcast she began in 2021. We know you'll be touched as you read about her experience in senior living communities and the personal stories she shares.


I remember being 18 years old and not quite ready for college or university yet. Still, instead of taking a victory lap at high school, I decided to sign up for a traveling youth volunteer program called Katimavik.  Back in the day, this program allowed youth aged 17-21 to travel across Canada for nine months, volunteering full-time at amazing organizations, learning different languages and life skills like cooking, conflict resolution, budgeting, and essentially everything you would need to...

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Is It Music Therapy, Music Education or Music Entertainment?

Did you know that music activates every area of the brain? It's true, scientific researchers have observed that listening to music and engagement in music-based activities can affect all areas of the brain. Music activates the “feel-good centers” of the brain, and it can even help create new neural pathways. The benefits of music are abundant and far-reaching!

As a music therapist, one question I receive all the time is What exactly is music therapy?

The definition of music therapy can be broken into two parts:

  1. It involves the use of evidence-based music interventions designed to accomplish specific goals based on the needs of an individual or group.
  2. All of this happens within a therapeutic relationship, and that person is a credentialed professional music therapist.

To break these parts down further, evidence-based interventions are simply music-oriented experiences or activities such as singing, playing an instrument, moving to music, and songwriting, all...

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Why Can’t I Just Use YouTube?

This month, we’re addressing a question we sometimes get in regard to our virtual music engagement program: Why can’t I just use YouTube? It’s definitely a valid question given the nature of the platform with which we’re all most likely familiar. Let’s explore how Bridgetown Music Therapy’s virtual music engagement program measures against, and ultimately stands apart from YouTube.


1. Dementia-friendly Life Enrichment
While YouTube is more entertainment focused, our program is more than just entertainment - it’s enriching for participants. Our content is recreational in nature. The goal isn’t necessarily to learn a skill or topic, but to have fun doing music while benefitting from enriching music-based activities at the same time. It was also intentionally created to be dementia-friendly.

2. Quality
Unlike a lot of content on YouTube, our videos are extremely high quality, produced by a professional videographer on...

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Introducing "Dementia Divas!"

 

This month, we had the pleasure of hearing from Carrie Aalberts, aka "Dementia Darling." Carrie is a delightful human who is passionate about empowering dementia caregivers by sharing education and resources. She supports caregivers by being a positive, uplifting voice of encouragement, spreading love and compassion to those who find themselves in a dementia caregiver role. Make sure to visit @dementiadarling on Instagram and give her a follow!


Hi All, it’s Dementia Darling and I am absolutely thrilled to share something that has been close to my heart and promises to be a game-changer for the dementia community!! Let me introduce you to the much-anticipated release of “Dementia Divas!”

“Dementia Divas” is not your typical TV show; it’s a monumental leap forward in our journey to create a more empathetic and understanding world for those touched by dementia! At its core, this show is an extraordinary platform for...

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Promoting Excellence in Activity Programs: A Spotlight on the National Association of Activity Professionals

The National Association of Activity Professionals (NAAP) is comprised of Activity Professionals serving Activity Professionals. Our commitment to the health care sector includes providing quality education, ethics, standards of practice, competencies, and advocacy. 

Activity Professionals provide activity services and programs, which enable individuals to maximize their desired potential and personal interest in activity participation. The provisions of activity programs and services are primarily, but not limited to, the geriatric populations who live in a variety of health care settings that may include other populations with special needs. The clients we serve, the settings in which services are provided, and the services we provide are based on the needs of the populations we serve. The activity practice is based on a comprehensive assessment, development, implementation, documentation, and evaluation of the programs provided. In addition, the unique interests, physical,...

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Introducing Zinnia: Better TV for People Living with Dementia

In today's fast-paced and technologically advanced world, it's easy to overlook the profound impact technology can have on people's lives. Technology can be a burden but it can also be a powerful tool to bring joy, healing and transformation. Technology is ever-evolving, and in the world of dementia care, it’s being harnessed to enhance the lives of people living with dementia. One such company that’s created an innovative solution to meet the needs and challenges of people living with dementia is Zinnia TV.

We learned about Zinnia earlier this year and became instant fans. Zinnia was started by four individuals with a passion to make a difference in the lives of people living with dementia. As a person’s brain function declines due to the degenerative nature of dementia, it can become difficult to track a plot, process fast-moving images, and tell fact from fiction. Regular TV can end up being detrimental for people living with dementia because...

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What Are the Benefits of Physical Movement for Seniors?

Physical activity has numerous benefits for older adults. For example, people who exercise tend to have improved immune, digestive, and cognitive function. Getting the body moving can also lead to better blood pressure, bone density, muscle tone, mobility, flexibility, balance and coordination. Maintaining regular physical activity can lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, obesity, mental health issues and heart disease. Another benefit of note is that it can help decrease risk of fall. In general, physical activity can help combat the effects of aging.

Walking is probably the most basic form of exercise and is great for cardio and keeping the body active and in shape. Stretching also counts as exercise. A little bit of stretching each day will do wonders for the body and is a great regular activity. Did you know that music is a natural motivator for physical movement? The rhythmic nature of music helps the brain and body work together to move in time with...

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Introducing Relish!

An estimated 6.5 million Americans age 65 and older are currently living with Alzheimer’s and dementia. This number is projected to more than double by 2050. Worldwide, an estimated 54 million people are living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias (2022 Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures). These numbers are staggering, and there’s currently no straightforward cure, but there are ways to combat decline, slow degeneration, and improve quality of life.

At Bridgetown Music Therapy, our main focus is the modality of music to improve a person’s wellbeing. Music can engage and positively affect individuals cognitively, emotionally, physically, spiritually, socially and more. This can lead to outcomes such as partially or temporarily restoring language and communication, sparking memories, and reducing stress or anxiety. Music is not the only way to engage a person and enrich their life though. Many other engaging activities and therapies exist that...

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What Are the Benefits of Deep Breathing for Older Adults?

Deep breathing has many physical and mental health benefits for older adults. For example, it can lower heart rate and blood pressure. It can help reduce stress and anxiety. It can also increase energy levels, improve mental focus, and lead to better sleep. Not to mention deep breathing helps get more oxygen to the brain which positively affects all kinds of functions in the body. This is why it’s so important for older adults to practice deep breathing every single day.

Deep breathing is focused and intentional breathing. It’s sometimes referred to as abdominal breathing, belly breathing, or diaphragmatic breathing. It’s such a simple practice, why do we so often forget to do it? Deep breathing is like a short cut to release stress as well as improve our physical and mental well-being. According to verywellmind.com, “deep slow breaths activate the parasympathetic nervous system, also called the ‘rest and digest’ system. It also...

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How Does Music Benefit People Living with Dementia?

Did you know that music activates every area of the brain?
It's true, scientific researchers have observed that listening to music and engagement in music-based activities affects all areas of the brain. Music activates the feel-good centers of the brain, and it can even help seniors create new neural connections in their brains, which are reasons why music can be so beneficial for people with dementia.

Music is a natural motivator.
Because music can do all kinds of cool things for the brain and body, it makes the perfect tool for engaging individuals with dementia. A few examples: unlocking their past memories, improving mood, increasing energy levels, and promoting relaxation. Singing has amazing benefits such as relieving stress, boosting the immune system, providing comfort, promoting expressive communication and improving lung capacity.

The benefits of music are abundant and far-reaching.
Music can uniquely touch the lives of people living with disease,...

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