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How Music Can Unlock a Path to the Past – Senior Star Music and Memory Program

Apple unveiled its very first iPod 13 years ago. Now, it’s one of the most recognizable products on the tech market with more than five different models and various generations. Here at The Kenwood, we’re utilizing this compact, portable media player for an important program that was recently implemented for our residents in Memory Care: the Music and Memory Program.

According to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, “most people associate music with important events and a wide array of emotions. The connection can be so strong that hearing a tune long after the occurrence evokes a memory of it.”

It’s also commonly believed that music has the power to boost mood and ease stress when used in the appropriate manner. There are many studies that examine the positive role and effects music can have on those who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease.

The Music and Memory Program was introduced at The Kenwood a few weeks ago and can be found in various Senior Star communities across the country. The program allows residents to have a personalized playlist of their favorite music from the past or present, which is added to one of the community iPods. It aims to enrich the lives of our residents by enabling them to share memories from their past. It also helps them express moments of joy and happiness and provide a sense of calm to alleviate feelings of anxiety.

If you’re a caregiver for loved one with Alzheimer’s disease, here are some tips for incorporating music into their daily life:

  • Select songs that are familiar or affiliated with fond memories from the past.
  • Avoid music that can be too loud – and be cognizant of what mood you’re trying to achieve. A song with a soft or slow melody would be best right before bed, for example.
  • While the music is playing, show photos of family members and special events such as birthdays or vacations.
  • Encourage your loved one to hum along with the tune.

Do you have a favorite song that evokes a special memory? Share with us in the comments or on our Facebook page.

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