CareYaya is thrilled to introduce a new resource for dementia care: CareYayaTV! These are specially-designed, free videos tailored for individuals with dementia. This initiative is grounded in research in geriatric psychology and neurology, highlighting the benefits of sensory stimulation in managing dementia symptoms. These videos are crafted to offer multisensory experiences, combining visual and auditory elements, to activate various brain regions, aiding in cognitive function and emotional well-being.
Check out our first one below!
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Understanding Dementia and Its Challenges
Dementia, a collective term for a range of cognitive decline conditions such as Alzheimer’s, affects millions worldwide. As neurons deteriorate over time across multiple brain regions, individuals experience a loss of cognitive functions such as memory, judgment, visual processing, and speech. Dementia can also lead to sensory changes and loss. This combination can result in a struggle to make sense of one’s surroundings or clearly communicate one’s needs, bringing about confusion, anxiety, withdrawal, and frustration. In fact, over 90% of those with Alzheimer’s experience symptoms like agitation and anxiety, presenting challenges for both the individuals and their caregivers.
The Science Behind CareYayaTV Videos
Emerging research indicates that sensory stimulation may help in both sustaining sensory processing abilities and providing comfort. Through providing those with dementia a means to live in the moment and interact with the immediate environment, sensory stimulation has been shown to enhance verbal and non-verbal communication, improve behaviors, and positively impact daily functioning and quality of life.
Multisensory stimulation encompasses all five senses, and the activities involved are often linked to interests the person had prior to dementia to help build a connection to everyday life. While special sensory rooms and VR therapies exist, sensory stimulation can be as simple as giving a light hand massage with a favored scented lotion. For a former chef, the scent of spices like cinnamon, basil, or turmeric may spark nostalgia. For green thumbs, feeling soil or plant leaves can offer tactile comfort. Displaying family photos and sensory keepsake boxes allows loved ones to see and touch treasured memories. Letting individuals select music or films from their era makes auditory-visual stimulation more evocative (music is often especially calming and great for evoking memories because musical memories are usually preserved in Alzheimer’s disease, as the key brain regions linked to musical memory remain relatively undamaged). Simply conversing about past happy memories can lift one's mood.
These personalized sensory cues, linked to fond memories, can generate profoundly touching moments even in the midst of dementia’s isolation. Caregivers can incorporate these personalized approaches into daily routines, creating opportunities for meaningful engagement and connection.
Key Features of CareYayaTV
CareYayaTV videos provide both visual and auditory stimulation with several key features:
Gently Paced: Videos are deliberately designed with slow-moving, colorful imagery and gentle music to create a calming, appropriately stimulating experience, ideal for dementia patients.
Multi-Sensory Stimulation: Videos cater to multiple senses simultaneously, enhancing engagement and comfort. The visual content is composed of serene and relatable imagery. The auditory stimulation through music plays a significant role in calming and evoking memories in particular because musical memories are often preserved in Alzheimer’s disease, as the key brain regions linked to musical memory remain relatively undamaged.
No Confusing Plots: Traditional television shows or movies with complex plots can be confusing and distressing for individuals with dementia. In contrast, CareYayaTV's content is designed to be soothing and undemanding, allowing viewers to immerse themselves in the experience without the cognitive strain of following intricate storylines.
Benefits of CareYayaTV Videos
Entertainment and Engagement: The familiar and comforting content of CareYaya videos keeps those with dementia engaged and connected to their environment.
Stress Reduction and Improved Quality of Life: The soothing content of these videos is designed to alleviate agitation and anxiety among dementia patients. This, in turn, reduces stress not only for the patients but also for their caregivers, contributing to an improved care environment.
Facilitation of Communication: By depicting a variety of familiar scenes and activities, such as gardening, these videos serve as a bridge to beloved pastimes and experiences. This helps in reminiscence therapy, a technique known to reinforce communication between patients and their caregivers.
- Accessibility and Convenience: The availability of these videos online and their ease of access via smart electronics ensure that these sensory experiences are consistently within reach.
A Step Forward in Dementia Care
Dementia presents evolving challenges for both the individual and caregiver. While there is no cure, approaches like multisensory videos highlight the possibilities still within reach when we meet individuals where they are.
CareYaya’s videos are a step in making dementia care resources more accessible. The commitment to providing narrative-free and sensory-rich content at no cost opens new avenues for enhancing the well-being of individuals with dementia and supporting their caregivers. As this library of videos is being built, CareYaya invites viewers, caregivers, and healthcare professionals to explore its content and share feedback. This collaborative approach not only enhances the channel's offerings but also contributes to the broader understanding of dementia care.