Anne Samaan: Inspirational Caregiver Blazes the Trail

Not even 5 feet tall, she was tiny but powerful; she filled up a room. She was my second “mommie;” counselor, comforter, friend and inspiration. Dr. Anne Samaan, my best friend Laurette and her sister Jenny’s mom, and my godchild Catalina’s grandmother, died last week; she was 91. The world is dimmer without her sometimes colorful presence. She has influenced me since I was 6 years old, especially because she was a caregiving pioneer. She taught me how to make choices …

Three Ways Caregivers Can Use Music Therapeutically

As a music therapist, I worked for many years with older adults and children with special needs using music as a tool to achieve non-musical goals. I used music to encourage expression and social interaction, physical activity and movement, brain stimulation, healing, verbal expression and communication, expression of emotions, reminiscence and even achieve simple eye contact. I created a hand-chime choir with my adult day services center participants who traveled around performing for their peers at other centers. One of …

He Has Alzheimer’s, Now What? Pt. 1

A Twitter follower of mine, @Jason_Bournesm, tweeted me a question the other day about his grandfather who has Alzheimer’s disease: “@AmyGoyer my grandfather has #Alzheimers. how can I help him? I’m not able to do much physically. He doesn’t remember much at all #sad“ Jason was born with spina bifida. While his physical challenges may limit some activities, I told him he has a lot to offer his grandfather! Grandchildren of all ages have a special love and energy to …