Mu­sic can jog mem­ory

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - NEWS -

MU­SIC could be the se­cret to un­lock­ing mem­o­ries in de­men­tia suf­fer­ers and a lo­cal aged care provider plans to im­ple­ment the pro­gram to do it.

Based on the US Mu­sic and Mem­ory ini­tia­tive, Amana Liv­ing’s new pro­gram will in­volve cre­at­ing per­son­alised playlists to re­lease deep mem­o­ries that had pre­vi­ously fell vic­tim to de­men­tia.

Amana Liv­ing has em­ployed an ex­pe­ri­enced mu­sic ther­a­pist to iden­tify songs per­son­ally mean­ing­ful for group and in­di­vid­ual ther­apy ses­sions in­cor­po­rat­ing singing and move­ment.

Amana Liv­ing en­rich­ment man­ager Emily Scarff said the sim­ple con­cept of in­cor­po­rat­ing mu­sic could have sur­pris­ingly big ben­e­fits for de­men­tia suf­fer­ers.

“Us­ing iPods to de­liver per­son­alised playlists is such a sim­ple con­cept; how­ever the im­pact it can have is as­tound­ing,” she said.

“Dur­ing the trial of the pro­ject we have seen our res­i­dents come alive in front of our very eyes when they lis­ten to their favourite songs.”

The pro­gram will be pi­loted at Amana Liv­ing’s two in­te­grated de­men­tia ser­vice cen­tres.

Within three years, the pro­gram will be re­viewed and rolled out across care cen­tres, with up to 1000 res­i­dents and clients ben­e­fit­ing.

Amana Liv­ing CEO Ray Glick­man said the US pro­gram showed mu­sic could have a con­sis­tent pos­i­tive im­pact.

“We know mu­sic taps into a part of the brain that re­mains very much alive yet hard to reach for peo­ple liv­ing with de­men­tia,” he said.

Amana Liv­ing client Mary Mitchell lis­tens to the Bea­tles with en­rich­ment man­ager Emily Scarff.

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