The Ashby Memory Method™ (AMM) is a pioneering cognitive therapy for early to middle stages of Alzheimer’s and dementia, created in Canada and now offered by Pivotal Aging Innovations. AMM was begun by Dr. Mira Ashby, CM, a Calgary-based specialist who later received the Order of Canada, for her work with brain injuries. The program is a leading edge therapy now available in different course packages, one available publicly to caregivers (the family and friends program), and another focused on professional care providers (the certified allied professional program).
The family and friends program is ideal for those providing care for a loved one with Alzheimer's Disease or any other form of dementia, cognitive impairment or brain trauma. It offers caregivers a professionally designed, drug-free, paper-based, non-invasive program that promotes connections between dementia-sufferers and others, improves symptoms and offers caregivers empowerment. It can also be used in combination with medication (while at the same time, it may reduce the need for medical interventions).
This can have key short term and long term benefits for caregivers:
- It trains family members and other caregivers within a structured program, instructs them in caring skills and awareness, and provides a means of improving relationships with your loved one.
- It can help manage the symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease, including personality and behavioural changes, reducing caregiver stress.
- In turn, for many caregiving families, this defers the need for a move to institutionalized memory care. The delay of institutional care is an important part of any strategy for the long term management of Alzheimer's and dementia.
For professional health care providers, the Ashby Memory Method™ is an ideal addition to the caregiving tools of anyone caring for dementia patients. This program is available to Alzheimer's Organizations, retirement residences and communities (especially those offering assisted living and memory care), care provider organizations, home care agencies, medical facilities (including clinics), seniors' independent living centers, seniors' non-profits, private practice therapists, adult day program providers, geriatric care centers, and anyone else providing care for seniors in a professional environment.
The AMM program is used either as a stand-alone drug-free dementia treatment program, or it can be used in combination with prescribed medications. The program incorporates a variety of activities that improve cognition and memory and encourage social interaction. The program, as with all Pivotal programs, is person-centred and therefore delivered one on one. This is not group therapy, but rather focuses on the participant's history, abilities, likes and dislikes through a series of exercises stimulating all senses. Participation is typically one hour twice a week over an 8-week period with plenty of opportunity to advance the program.
You can register for these programs at dementiatherapy.ca/our-courses/.
Noteworthy aspects of the structure of the AMM program are as follows:
- Use of an errorless learning approach, to build participants' confidence in themselves
- Activities that stimulate all five senses. The program employs a variety of materials, techniques and components, including visual imagery (use of photographs and pictures that stimulate visual recognition), word exercises, tactile stimulation, logical inferences, scent recognition, and other sensory stimulation exercises.
- Person-centered program materials help maintain interest and focus.
- Employs neuroplasticity, working the functional areas of the brain to compensate for those areas in decline.
Who can benefit from the Ashby Memory Method, and how does it help?
AMM is ideally suited to help people with any of various kinds of dementia, cognitive impairments, or other kinds of brain trauma, including the following:
- Persons in the early to middle stages of Alzheimer's Disease
- Patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or related memory impairments
- Victims of brain trauma such as a stroke
- Individuals with other types of dementia.
For patients with dementia, brain trauma or cognitive impairment, some net effects of the AMM program are as follows:
- Reduces the individual's anxiety, depression and fear, providing them with means to adapt to changes in their cognition
- Increases individual's awareness of their natural thinking patterns and promotes alternative strategies when these processes are in decline
- Maintains and strengthens the patient's long-term memories
- Provides skills that support short-term recall and memory, in some participants
- Renews sensory awareness of the patient (touch, taste, smell, hearing, sight)
- Builds logic and reasoning skills
- Facilitates, promotes and improves interaction with family members and others
- May reduce the need for psychotropic medications in dementia care management
- Improves mood during activities, and quality of life overall
The program package includes the teaching package, dementia screening and testing materials, participant packages for the first 8 weeks, email and phone support, password-protected online training access, a workbook and much more. For professionals, there is a listing on the website with referrals, certification, a Train the Trainer dementia educational program, getting started member resources, and much more. Learn much more at the website http://www.dementiatherapy.ca/
More about the program
The program's developer was Dr. Mira Ashby (1922-2005), awarded the Order of Canada in 1984. She also founded the Ashby House in Toronto, the first community-based brain injury rehabilitation program in North America; the House is now known as CHIRS (Community Head Injury Resource Centre). Her son, John Ashby, continues her work today.
Pivotal Aging Innovations Inc. partners with The Ashby Memory Method™ (AMM), to provide the program to caregivers and health care professionals. Certifications from Pivotal allow providers the ability to host Dementia Care seminars that increase their visibility and clientele. The Ashby Memory Method is another key component for Pivotal, whose goal is to become Canada’s premier solution for professional training in the Senior Residence market place. The development of Pivotal's online AMM sales program will connect home-based caregivers with methodologies to further assist in improving the quality of life for loved ones. Data collected from professionals in Pivotal's network will be included in ongoing research used in the future development of programs, improved patient care, and industry knowledge.
To learn all about the program and how it can help you, see http://www.dementiatherapy.ca/
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