Can you imagine not being able to connect to your past—unable to connect to your memories, unable to connect to your family and friends.  What if something as simple as a song could change that for someone? Our brains are hard wired to link music with our long-term memory. People with dementia, Parkinson’s disease and other diseases that damage brain chemistry can reconnect with the world from listening to personal music favorites.

Music & Memory is an organization that is funded on the idea that music can improve the health and quality of life for people suffering from cognitive decline. We have been using the Music & Memory program since 2015 and can attest that it is a truly magical program. Our residents listen to their favorite songs to trigger memories—it enables them to converse, socialize, and stay present, which improves their quality of life.

Residents, along with the help of family members and staff, can fill out a questionnaire, which is designed to help determine what genre of music they may like based on past musical interests and experiences. The music is downloaded on to a playlist and is played periodically. If the music was played constantly, then it would turn into background noise and the residents would become desensitized, making them not able to truly listen.

Like ongoing research shows, our residents/participants are happier, more sociable, and connections among patients, family members, and staff has deepened. Family members and staff are able to regain valuable time. At Adams County Manor and Morris Nursing Home, we really enjoy this program and so do our residents, and we will continue to use it.