An IPod, a caring soul, and earphones
Music & Memory
A beautiful recipe to transform the lives of the memory-impaired and dying
There is nothing more painful than having a front row seat as your loved one slips away due to memory loss or a life-limiting illness. The moment you first look into your loved ones eyes and see that they are looking through you is absolutely chilling. You crave moments of being known by them and at times, will see glimpses that are bittersweet. The connection is magical but is fleeting. You desperately want it to last and that is where the Music and Memory program comes. Music affects the memory centers in the brain. It can be the key that unlocks the chest of memories and pulls them out of the dark and lonely place of dementia.
Connecting people with memory loss back to their memories
Through the pioneering work of Dan Cohen, the Music and Memory program was birthed in an effort to connect to people with memory loss back to their memories. The program is elegant and simple. Trained nursing staff or volunteers meet with the patient and the family and develop a customized play list for the patient. An iPod is loaded with their favorite tunes from their era and headphones deliver a walk backward in time. The results are profound. You can unlock memories that lay frozen in amber. Studies have found that implementing the music can reduce the use of anti psychotic drugs in the memory impaired, decrease agitation in sundowners phenomenon, and provide families and care staff with tools to manage emotions in clients and soothe the grief and sadness in loved ones.