It’s been the best experience of my life, seeing the change in our residents as they interact with the students and the music.
The key to [Music & Memory’s] success is the use of personalized music. This approach uses identity to optimize the results of the music in a way that a generic music program cannot.
Music & Memory surprised me more than any other program I have participated in.
One resident used to do a lot of calling out during meals. She couldn’t sit through dinner. Now her aides set her up with an iPod a half-hour ahead of time. She’s able to sit and enjoy her meal.
One of the more positive results we’re seeing is a reduction in the need for psychotropic medication. Music soothes the residents to the point where they actually may not need all of the medications that they needed prior to going on [Music & Memory’s] program.
My pain melts away as I get absorbed into the music. I look at the iPod the same way I look at my pain medication. It’s a boost to my pain medication. Everything calms down when I listen to my iPod.
You don’t know how much you’ve changed my life when I go and sit for four hours having dialysis, that I can now listen to the music I love.
Understandably, most things here are done to us or for us, attending to our security and our health. But the iPod program is done with us, and that makes all the difference.
Our residents have improved mood, brighter affect, increased socialization, etc. They tend to verbalize and sing more after listening to their iPod.
I especially enjoy seeing a particular resident wheeling down the hall doing what staff call ‘the wheel chair boogie’ and singing to Roy Orbison or Jerry Lee Lewis.