At the Garden View Home, we strive to make each and every day an adventure for our residents by offering them exciting and stimulating opportunities. We have found one of their favorite activities is Music Therapy. The Alzheimer’s Association reports on their Daily Care webpage the following, “Music can be powerful. Studies have shown music may reduce agitation and improve behavioral issues that are common in the middle-stages of the disease. Even in the late-stages of Alzheimer’s, a person may be able to tap a beat or sing lyrics to a song from childhood. Music provides a way to connect, even after verbal communication has become difficult”.
Several years ago, we had an Italian lady resident who suffered from extreme agitation in the afternoons. Her doctor prescribed a cream to put on her wrists several times a day to help with the agitation. However, this made her want to sleep all day and become almost comatose. Her family mentioned that she loved Italian opera music. We suggested that they buy a CD player and some opera music. In the afternoon, when she became agitated, we would put on her opera music. We were amazed at how calm she would become by simply listening to the music. The doctor cancelled the cream.
We have found this to be true with many of our residents. Brett, our Certified Music Therapist, comes once a week and works with our residents. They love him and their time together. Brett can stimulate even the most difficult resident. We have one resident who does not wish to socialize and prefers to stay in their room, however, is always ready to attend the music session with Brett.
A study done at the University of Miami School of Medicine stated that “music can improve mood swings, reduce stress and agitation, and even increase cognitive levels of skill as the human brain still naturally responds to music even in the last stages of the disease”. We see this in our residents every week.
Brett brings musical instruments for the residents to play as they sing familiar songs from their past. Not only do they love playing the instruments, but it also gets them moving and increases circulation. We are one of the few Residential Care Homes in the area that offer music therapy. Stop by The Garden View Home some Friday afternoon about 3:00 and join in the fun. You might even want to sing along, grab a drum or a set of maracas’, and tap your feet to the beat.