Music Notes

Long-term care residents suffering from memory problems often feel isolated and lonely. Offering music chosen just for them, and played through headsets, has been shown to improve their mood, bringing smiles and even singing.

Music unlocks an opportunity for everyone to correlate life events and sounds. The brain is a powerhouse that when engaged with musical tunes has an ability to deliver positive outcomes that can be beneficial to all. Research indicates that this is a high reality for those suffering with health barriers due to dementia. By utilizing music to liven those senses, an ability to aid sufferers of the disease is evident. The music becomes a form of wellness that has proven positive outcomes.

Music and Memory is a non-profit organization that helps individuals with a wide range of cognitive and physical conditions to engage with the world, ease pain and reclaim their humanity through the use of personalized music.

Nursing facilities across the nation that are utilizing personalized music programs, such as the Music & Memory program, are seeing astonishing results. Health difficulties, which are often prominent to residents in care facilities, have been seen to promote improvement in dementia, eating, behaviors, medication use, movement and more.

Individuals participating the program have been given the opportunity to awaken parts of the brain through music. Individualized playlists for each participant in the program seems to speak right to the heart and head of each program participant.

Music and MemoryIn a recent survey, success stories were shared about how Music & Memory South Dakota is working in nursing home across the state. Evidence has shown that each person can have varying results, but those that are see success make the program worth the effort.

For example, a veteran in one facility was having difficulty walking. The activities director reported, “we played marine marching music and he started marching and walking more normal.”

Personalized playlists, including music, such as the marine marching music, triggered a response that was of high benefit to the individual. Just as music can help with movement, it can also help with reducing the use of antipsychotic medications.

Quality Health Associates of North Dakota (QHA) and South Dakota Foundation for Medical Care (SDFMC) continue their work to assist facilities with implementation of Music & Memory in their respective states. Learn more: North Dakota Music & Memory | South Dakota Music & Memory Program

This story was originally submitted by Jessica Danko, Music & Memory Program Coordinator in South Dakota, for the Great Plains QIN Nursing Home Nuts & Bolts Newsletter | June 2022 Issue