Oftentimes we fail to even notice music’s constant presence. Within the Courtyard, music is frequently part of our weekly activities. The Music and Memory program brings music to each individual resident on a more personal level. Last October, we hosted our first fundraiser, a sold-out “Murder Mystery” dinner to raise money for this program to benefit our residents with memory and cognitive issues.

Music and Memory provides a certification course, completed this past January, to further our knowledge of the use of iPods, how to create personalized playlists and when it is most effective to make use of them. The Music and Memory certification course was also helpful in educating staff in the engagement of residents during music selection and participation of this entire project.

Music has numerous benefits. It is overwhelmingly linked to emotional memory. Even in individuals with severe dementia, music can tap into deep emotional memory. Music therapy has been shown to decrease psychotropic medications, increase participation in activities, decrease eating issues and increase general mood. This program has also been shown to create an activity that connects family and loved one, that might have once felt lost.

While this program is starting in our Memory Care community, the Courtyard, it has the possibility to be community wide. Music is universal. It translates across abilities, languages, and emotions. We are so excited to bring this program to the Courtyard.

Brittany Smith M.S.

Life Services Coordinator