Music & Memories

By: Claremont Place Senior Living  06/02/2015
Keywords: Memory Care, Alzheimer’s care

In recent years, research has shown that music is a proven therapy for those suffering from Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Recently Claremont Place, a senior living community with a unit specializing in the care of residents with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia, is now a certified Music and Memory Facility. Claremont Place hopes to provide all residents the opportunity to experience the benefits of listening to personalized music. As a Certified Music and Memory Facility, Claremont Place is now part of a national research initiative designed to focus on learning how residents with Alzheimer’s and dementia can benefit from listening to personalized music. Music and Memory is a program which enables residents to listen to personalized music playlists, created with input from residents themselves as well as family, friends and staff. In addition, Claremont Place will utilize the volunteer base it has available through the Cal Poly Pomona Alzheimer’s Buddies Program (CPAB). These playlists are loaded onto iPods so residents can connect with the music they love, with the goal of improving their overall health and well-being. In fact, the Music and Memory program was recently featured in the documentary ALIVE Inside. Michael Rossato-Bennett, a self-described “dead broke filmmaker” secured a freelance job creating a video website showcasing the efforts of Dan Cohen, founder of Music & Memory, a nonprofit offering music streamed through iPods to help people with Alzheimer's or other dementias reconnect with themselves and to other people and places. After witnessing the effect that music had on seniors, it spurred Rossato-Bennett into following Cohen for three years filming countless stories of the power of music and memory which would become a full blown documentary film. Emotions and musical memory are profoundly linked. Older memories are stored deeply in the brain. While Alzheimer’s damages the ability to recall facts and details, it does not destroy these lasting connections between a favorite song and memory of an important life event, no matter how long ago. When individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia hear a melody connected with a meaningful memory, they can re-awaken. Many people who have not spoken in years find words and sing lyrics. They may regain the ability to converse and connect to those around them. The key is a personalized playlist. Some of the more popular songs for seniors include: - Fly Me to the Moon by Frank Sinatra - Stardust by Nat King Cole - Chattanooga Choo Choo by Glenn Miller - Dinah by Bing Crosby - Embraceable You by Nat King Cole - In the Mood by Glenn Miller - Big Band music - Cultural Music (German and French Folk music) “As a Certified Music and Memory program community, we fully understand the difference that music makes to residents such as ours. We are thrilled to enable our residents to hear the music that brings joy to them,” said Judith Jones, community marketing director for Claremont Place.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s care, Memory Care

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