Posts Tagged ‘Alzzheimer’s’

A Smile Can Change Everything

Thursday, April 2nd, 2015

Effects on the Person Smiling

Smiling has been found to have beneficial effects on the person who is smiling. According to an article on the Live Strong website, “A study conducted by the British Dental Health Foundation showed the act of smiling to dramatically improve one’s mood.”

Another study, conducted by Dr. David Beales, co-author of “Emotional Healing for Dummies,” found that “Smiling causes a release of endorphins, your body’s natural pain-relieving and feel-good hormones.”

Effects on the Person Being Smiled at

Research has also discovered that being smiled at has positive effects. The British Dental Health Foundation, again as reported on the Live Strong website, states that “Smiling increases happiness both in yourself and those around you.”

A comprehensive article on this topic was published in Positive Psychology News Daily. Entitled “Smile and Others Smile With You: Health Benefits, Emotional Contagion and Mimicry,” the article reviews 10 scientific research studies on the benefits of smile for the person being smiled at. The article reports the following findings of the various studies:

  1. When you smile at someone, their muscles maneuver into a smile as well.
  1. This process is also known as emotional contagion. That is, emotions are contagious. Feeling good is infectious.
  1. Mimicking a person’s bodily state or facial expression causes physical responses in the receiver’s body that are identical to those in the sender’s.
  1. If you mimic [another person’s] smile . . . your body will release serotonin, dopamine and other “feel-good” indicators.
  1. Frequent smiling has many therapeutic and health benefits. Smiling:
  • Boosts the immune system
  • Increases positive affect
  • Reduces stress
  • Lowers blood pressure

When Alzheimer’s Patients Make Perfect Sense!

Sunday, May 20th, 2012

Many people who have cared for a person with Alzheimer’s can tell you shocking stories about their loved ones having moments of total lucidity. I haven’t been able to find any explanation for why or how these moments occur.

These precious events can last anywhere from a few minutes to several hours or even most of a day. I have a friend whose mother actually had an entire week of clarity. Her mind was clear as a bell for seven days, then suddenly she returned to her former state of dementia.

As the person’s illness progresses, these episodes tend to occur less often, and so when they do occur it’s all the more striking and precious.

Here’s the most stunning one described in Come Back Early Today:

When my mother died I was devastated.  I was also sad because I knew my soul mate, Ed, wouldn’t understand it and wouldn’t be able to console me as he would have done before he developed Alzheimer’s. When I told him about it he was thoroughly confused and thought I was talking about his mother. I mentioned it again a few days later and his only response was, “That lady on the television is the Pope.”

I had decided to wear a black blouse or shirt every day for a month to honor my mother’s passing. One day two weeks later when I visited Ed he looked me right in the eye and said in a clear and strong voice, “You look so beautiful in that black shirt even though I know you’re wearing it for death.” I was speechless.

Can any of you readers share your own experiences with a loved one’s moments of total lucidity?