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Every Time I Hear That Song: The Impact of Music Intervention on Persons Living with Dementia

This webinar discusses the benefits of using music as a tool to engage persons with dementia. Music, which can elicit memories and positive feelings in those with dementia, has the potential to decrease anxiety and the occurrence of agitated behaviors. In recent years, a variety of individualized music interventions have been developed that capitalize on the use of music as a promising practice. The use of familiar music can be a powerful way to tap into an individual’s long-term memory, increase social interaction, produce positive mood, and promote feelings of belonging. Silvia Orsulic-Jeras of Benjamin Rose and Gregg Gorzelle of Hopeful Aging, LLC discuss the Making Connections through Music intervention, a program consisting of six individually themed sessions containing songs and corresponding discussion points that have been carefully selected with the assistance of a board-certified music therapist. Materials, such as handheld percussion instruments, photos and other props, are used to elicit engagement with the music and increase socialization among group members.

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By Silvia Orsulic-Jeras, Gregg Gorzelle | 12/12/2023

Adult Protective Services: The What, Why, and How

In this virtual discussion presented in partnership with the Elder Justice Coalition, we examine baseline funding for Adult Protective Services, and how service providers can advocate for our communities. Jennfer Spoeri, Executive Director for the National Adult Protective Services Association, covers the importance of APS funding and the services it provides, and addresses misconceptions about APS. Heidi Turner-Stone, Section Chief of the Ohio APS, highlights the significance of state-level APS funding, while Bob Blancato of the Elder Justice Coalition covers this significance on a federal level.

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By Jennifer Spoeri, Heidi Turner-Smith, Bob Blancato | 12/08/2023

Though stigma against dementia may seem to most obviously target the individuals with dementia themselves, caregivers often bear the brunt of the negativity behind the scenes.

Challenging the Stigma of Dementia

Dementia is a condition that affects millions of individuals and their families around the world. Yet, despite its prevalence, dementia remains overwhelmed in stigma and misunderstanding. In pop culture, dementia is often used as a punchline, or even an insult against older public figures. In day-to-day life, people who encounter individuals with dementia may become annoyed and frustrated, and try to avoid the situation, even if the individual needs help. The stigma can also affect caregivers: if a loved one with dementia is exhibiting strange or socially inappropriate behavior in public, for example, people may blame the caregiver for not “controlling” their loved one or make the caregiver feel ashamed or embarrassed. 

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By Julie Hayes | 11/15/2023

Collaborative Approaches in Elder Justice for Protecting Adults Living with Dementia and IDD

Join us for a thought-provoking webinar featuring esteemed experts in the field on elder justice, specifically highlighting work to protect those with dementia or IDD. Dr. Ronan Factora of the Cleveland Clinic and Natasha Pietrocola of the Cuyahoga County Division of Senior and Adult Services describe an innovative collaboration to provide virtual capacity assessments to Adult Protective Service (APS) clients who need them. Dr. Jess Bibbo from Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging presents emerging evidence about the impact of pets in the lives of people affected by dementia, as well as the benefits and challenges of client pet ownership encountered by APS professionals. Courtney Reynolds from Benjamin Rose shares information about a training program designed to educate mandatory reporters on abuse, neglect and exploitation. Discover collaborative approaches, innovative solutions, and the latest research aimed at ensuring the dignity and safety of older and disabled adults living with dementia and other impairments.

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By Ronan Factora, Natasha Pietrocola, Jess Bibbo, Courtney Reynolds | 10/18/2023

A group of older adults enjoying a conversation over a meal

The Power of Memory Cafés for Dementia Care

Most communities have plenty of gathering spaces available for people to meet up, chat, share a meal and take a break in a relaxing, supportive environment. But for people with dementia and their caregivers, finding a truly safe space out in the community can be a lot more challenging. Due to stigma and lack of knowledge, many people in the general public aren’t sure how to interact with someone with dementia, and even business owners may be at a loss to handle a situation where someone with dementia is distressed, or struggles to make a purchase. Aware of these challenges, caregivers may hesitate to bring a loved one into the community, unintentionally putting them at risk of social isolation.

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By Julie Hayes | 10/16/2023