The winner is … Mary!
We’ve seen plenty of evidence that music can create magical moments for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients. It has the power to reduce depression and agitation, improve cognitive function, and provide wonderful opportunities for interaction with caregivers and loved ones. Music was certainly comforting to my mom, even in the very late stages of the disease.
One of the most compelling examples is illustrated in a YouTube video that went viral shortly after its 2012 release. “Henry” had been battling dementia for years, becoming completely withdrawn and non-communicative. And then, the magic happened; caregivers played some of his favorite songs from years gone by, and he suddenly came to life. The man who had previously barely spoken was now singing Cab Calloway’s hits and reminiscing about how much he loved music and dancing when he was young. It was nothing short of a miracle.
The past, which is not recoverable in any other way, is embedded, as if in amber, in the music and people can regain a sense of identity… -Oliver Sacks, MD
Knowing firsthand how powerful music can be, Audrey Greene decided to combine her musical gift with years of eldercare experience to create a CD; however, she needed funding to make it happen. With that in mind, she began a Kickstarter campaign and with the help of 105 backers, raised over $4,700 to offset licensing and production costs.
During the crowd funding process, Audrey said, “At 57, I’m learning once again that almost anything is possible.” Indeed, this past November she realized her dream when “Mom’s Musical Memories” was released.
The CD contains 15 tracks, all carefully chosen for their potential to unlock memories, encourage reminiscing, and create musical moments of joy. Songs include old favorites like You Are My Sunshine, Somewhere Over the Rainbow, Let Me Call You Sweetheart, When the Saints Go Marching In, and Take Me Out to the Ballgame.
…Science aside; when an elder who’s been closed off and uncommunicative lifts her head, smiles, and begins to sing along, the power of music cannot be denied. –Audrey Greene
The American Music Therapy Association says music not only encourages positive changes in mental status, but it can even be beneficial in pain management. Music also provides a wonderful opportunity for social interaction and reminiscence.
Research shows music touches areas of the brain that may not be damaged by the disease. In doing so, it brings those healthy pathways to the forefront. The result can be an astounding “awakening” like that experienced by “Henry” when he listened to songs from his era.
You can find Audrey’s CD on iTunes, Amazon, and Google Play, and she has graciously offered a copy to one lucky reader. To enter for a chance to win the CD, just leave a comment on this post. I’ll select a random winner on Saturday, January 25th. Good luck!
Audrey Greene has 20 years experience working at nursing facilities throughout Rhode Island. Her biggest musical influences are Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra, but she enjoys a wide variety of music, “anything from James Brown to Mozart.” Audrey’s goal is to raise awareness and encourage hope throughout the community with music. You can visit her website or find her on Facebook, and she can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.