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Music and Memory Program

May 7, 2018

MUSIC & MEMORY℠ is a non-profit organization that brings personalized music into the lives of the elderly or infirm through digital music technology, vastly improving quality of life. Bay Bluffs recently completed training to be a certified Music & Memory provider, one of only 24 certified sites in Michigan. We have received some start up funds to purchase a few ipods and are looking for some funding to assist in purchase of music selections while we work on additional contributions to support the ongoing development of this important program.

As we all know from hearing that song associated with a first love or leaving home for good, music is profoundly linked to personal memories. In fact, our brains are hard-wired to connect music with long-term memory. Even for persons with severe dementia, music can tap deep emotional recall. For individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s, memory for things – names, places, facts – is compromised, but memories from our teenage years can be well-preserved.

Favorite music or songs associated with important personal events can trigger memory of lyrics and the experience connected to the music. Beloved music often calms chaotic brain activity and enables the listener to focus on the present moment and regain a connection to others. Persons with dementia, Parkinson’s and other diseases that damage brain chemistry also reconnect to the world and gain improved quality of life from listening to personal music favorites.

The Music & Memory program strives to put individualized music, via ipod and headphones, for each of the 20 Residents of the dementia unit at Bay Bluffs. Our goal is to eventually expand to all Residents of the facility as well as provide community outreach for those living in the community with memory challenges.

This project has the capacity to impact the quality of life of those who have few other outlets. The link below provides access to a video trailer of the movie “Alive Inside” about the Music and Memory program. Detailed studies have been performed that indicate those engaged in this type of activity have increased quality of life, reduced utilization of pharmaceutical interventions and greater engagement in their communities.

Music and Memory – https://www.musicandmemory.org