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Update on plans for Kent State Columbiana County campuses

As dean, I am writing with an update on plans for the fall semester at the Kent State Columbiana County campuses. First, please understand that there are more than 100 people considering every problem and situation imaginable to make sure we have procedures so that we can welcome students ...

A message to all Ohio 2020 grads

At this time of year, thousands of Ohio students would normally be walking across stages in auditoriums, gyms and arenas to proudly accept their high school, college, or graduate school diplomas. With graduations canceled this year, students and their teachers, friends, and families will miss ...

Senate Bill 1 provides opportunity for people’s voice during a crisis

Yesterday (May 6), Senate Bill 1 passed within the Ohio House of Representatives. As a member of the State and Local Government Committee and as your state representative on the House floor, I voted to support the legislation along with many of my colleagues. Because of this, I want to be very ...

Preventing suicide during the COVID-19 pandemic

We are living through a global pandemic, with no firm idea how long it will last, whether or not we or our loved ones will be infected by this virus (or worse, die from it), or how long our lives will be upended. This uncertainty can cause and/or heighten anxiety and fear. For those living ...

Hard worker or workaholic? Telling the difference

Several decades ago there was a television commercial brought about by a church regarding the importance of family connection. The mother and kids packed the camper, and when they were ready to hit the road on an adventure, they tricked Dad into getting into the camper, shut and locked the ...

The beauty and benefits of music therapy Thanks to breakthroughs in medicine and nutrition in recent years, we are living longer than ever before. But this increase in life expectancy also brings an increase in the number of diseases, injuries and impairments that affect older adults. With this in mind, we at the local Visiting Angels office in Salem have created this series of articles to keep our older population and their families informed and to offer some practical advice for meeting the challenges faced by seniors and those who care for them. Alzheimer’s disease, especially in its later stages, can put a wall between the sufferer and the outside world. As cognitive abilities deteriorate, the sufferer usually becomes increasingly confused and agitated. They may lose (or seem to lose) memories, become disoriented and lost, misidentify people, lash out or throw tantrums, or withdraw completely. In extreme cases, they may seem entirely shut off from the world. One treatment for Alzheimer’s that has gained more and more attention in recent years is music therapy. Increasingly popular with senior care and Alzheimer’s experts, music therapy has proven effective at providing emotional engagement for Alzheimer’s patients where other treatments fail. The reason for this, as the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America explains, is that music requires “little to no cognitive or mental processing.” Auditory and rhythmic responses are controlled by the motor center of the brain, which remains relatively unaffected by Alzheimer’s, even in later stages. Because of this, when an Alzheimer’s sufferer hears music, they are not confused or disoriented, as they are with other forms of stimulation. What makes music therapy especially valuable is the emotional responses it activates. Studies have shown that upbeat, up-tempo music improves the mood of Alzheimer’s patients. Slower, relaxing tunes often have a therapeutic effect, helping to reduce agitation and anger. Since emotional volatility is one of the biggest stumbling blocks to caring for seniors with Alzheimer’s, this has proven a major breakthrough in providing treatment. Music therapy seems to work best with music that the sufferer already knows – in particular, songs the person learned before the age of 25. If the sufferer is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, it can be valuable to ask which songs from their childhood, teenage years, or early adulthood they most enjoy. If they have already reached the later stages of the disease, asking those who knew them in their youth or making an educated guess can also be effective. It is important when using music therapy to limit overstimulation. It is best to reduce other distractions and to play music that is commercial-free. Commercial interruptions can cause confusion and lead to increased agitation. It is also important not to play the music too loud and to watch carefully how the person reacts. Some songs might prove soothing for one person and upsetting for another. This sometimes happens when a song is tied to an unpleasant emotion or memory, such as a failed relationship or a lost loved one. Read the person’s face for clues as to their mood and try another song if they seem to get distressed. One of the biggest positives to music therapy is how it can help make in home senior care more manageable. Combined with other treatment strategies, music therapy can help extend the time that care recipients spend in the comfort of their home – something extremely important for the emotional wellbeing of persons with brain disorders. ——— Information provided by Visiting Angels, America’s choice in homecare. Visiting Angels non-medical homecare services allow people to continue enjoying the independence of their daily routines and familiar surroundings. To set up an appointment for a no-obligation in-home assessment, call 330-332-1203.

Thanks to breakthroughs in medicine and nutrition in recent years, we are living longer than ever before. But this increase in life expectancy also brings an increase in the number of diseases, injuries and impairments that affect older adults. With this in mind, we at the local Visiting Angels ...

How safe is the U.S. power grid?

At any one time, the United States uses more than 400,000 megawatts of electricity. That's a lot of power, and it takes a lot of non-stop work to keep it flowing. But how safe is America's power grid from cyber attacks and other disruptions? Cyber intrusions are no longer a theoretical ...

U.S. must prioritize mining to win clean energy race

Right now, the United States and China are competing to capture the production of advanced energy technologies like solar panels, electric cars, and lithium-ion batteries. And unfortunately, China is winning. The hard truth is that China has already captured much of the renewable energy ...

An ounce of prevention

By CATHY THOMAS BROWNFIELD Family Recovery Center publicist Some things are just plain harmful, even if we don’t want to admit it. Denial doesn’t help protect us from those things that can hurt us but knowledge and wisdom can. The U.S. Surgeon General has issued a report specifically ...

Sound nutrition for healthy living

Fast food makes for a quick meal when you’re on the run. Eating out saves time in the kitchen and lets you enjoy friends and family in a social setting. But malnutrition still is an issue in this country and around the world. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that people in all ...