There is an interesting program being implemented in senior care facilities throughout the United States. It’s called Music and Memory, and it’s based in New York. It developed from the theory that music triggers memory, and that music has therapeutic qualities. Music and memories are linked in the brain. Some songs have stronger attachments to memories than others. For everyone, there are songs that remind us of emotional moments in our lives. Certain songs remind us of events or people or feelings. We can hear a particular tune and we are transported back to that time in our life. This has relevance for people in assisted living Clark County, WA.
The Music and Memory program gets donated iPods into senior care facilities where they are given to residents and programmed with a customized playlist of that resident’s own favorite songs, songs from the past, songs that trigger the individual’s personal memories. Memories that are associated with important events from their life and can trigger more memories of past experiences.
Their results are phenomenal. They’ve helped thousands of residents with dementia, and other cognitive and physical limitations reconnect with family, friends and caregivers. They report that using Music and Memory:
- Residents are happier and more social.
- Relationships with other people are enhanced.
- People feel calmer and more relaxed and the whole environment is less stressful.
- Behavior management issues are decreased.
- There is growing evidence that this type of music program is one of the factors that may enable residents to decrease their anti-psychotic medication.
Music and Memory is an amazing program in which residents living in care facilities are often brought back to life, and begin to feel like themselves again, to interact, socialize and stay more connected.