Music is amazing! Whenever I hear a song, I remember how old I was when I first or most enjoyed it or where I was. Michael Jackson’s Off the Wall album? MANY hours at home, dancing and singing at the top of my lungs with my sister while my parents were away. So, I totally understand how people, even people with memory issues, respond to music that reminds them of happy times and their bodies of more capable times.
Since 2006, the Music and Memory program has been providing iPods with music to residents of nursing homes with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. As shown in a viral video and a documentary honored by the Sundance Film Festival in 2014, some of the residents wake up or become more engaged with the music from their past.
Now, researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee are conducting a study of the longer term impact of the Music and Memory program, which is now in hundreds of nursing homes in the U.S. and Canada. The results could improve health care for these patients, reduce costs and encourage more family engagement. That would be a result worth jumping around and singing at the top of our lungs.
Source: “Wisconsin Studies Music and Memory Program” posted on October 30, 2013 in ABC News.com. Original source: Carrie Antlfinger, Associated Press.