Music has been used as a therapeutic device for decades in the medical community. Whether it’s lively tunes as a backdrop to exercise, or soft sounds during quiet meditation, music has a long tradition of helping to power health.
Music and Memory is different because it is a licensed therapeutic program for older adults with memory issues. A health care provider curates a customized playlist for a participant based on their musical memories and interests.
“We ask our participants questions that help us understand what music will evoke certain feelings or memories,” said Stephanie Godbold, Music and Memory Coordinator at Herndon Harbor Adult Day Health Care.
Stephanie will ask a participant questions such as:
What was the first album you bought with your own money?
Who did you see perform at your first concert?
What song makes you happy? Sad?
Based on this information, Stephanie curates a playlist for the participant to enjoy, placing it on an iPod.
The Music and Memory playlists are used as a therapeutic tool at the Adult Day Health Care Centers for a myriad of purposes.
Some participants need a quiet space to be to themselves for a while, said Martha Armstrong, Recreational Therapist at Lincolnia Adult Day Health Care who has decades of experience working with older adults who have memory issues.
Music and Memory provides that personal space. We can set up a participant with their music, and they can be to themselves for a bit.
Music and Memory evokes a variety of emotions from participants.
She likes to dance and you can tell that she was the life of the party, said Stephanie of Doris, one of her participants.
We always keep a close eye on her when her ear buds are in, because her mobility isn’t what it used to be so we need to ensure she’s dancing in a safe manner.
Joyful singing is not uncommon.
He just loves music, Martha says of Francis, a participant in Lincolnia.
All music, from classic rock to classical. He really livens up when he has his music, and loves to sing.
There are times when we have a group of participants enjoying their music, and a silent disco breaks out, said Stephanie.
Interested in learning more about Music and Memory? Watch the stories of our participants Bill and Doris, and learn about the positive impact it makes on their lives.