Memory Care Program Coordinator Angela Lowrie had an idea, and went off in search of music. Armed with an iPod and headphones, she played oldies rock ’n’ roll for Bob. The music sang to his soul. He tapped his foot. He sang along. The music had struck a resonant chord deep inside him.
The staff was amazed. Bob often looked for an escape route, thinking he would head home. Yet here he was happy, engaged and asking someone — anyone — to dance. His wife Nancy was relieved and comforted by the changes in him.
“He hears a song and remembers something from his past,” said Nancy. “He’s able to tell us what he was doing when he first heard the song.”
Bob now jokes with Nancy during her frequent visits, runs errands with her, and is kind to other residents. He has emerged from his personal struggle because of a program, Music & Memory, which uses music to help people with cognitive impairment reconnect to the world around them. Thanks to a generous donation, UCH is a certified Music & Memory provider at all of its healthcare communities.
“He’s so young,” said Angela, “so it was hard to watch him struggle. But his entire face lit up once we found the right music.”
Finding the right music means a day without confusion and agitation. For Bob and Nancy, it means the world.
There is no cure for dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. But with the help of the Music & Memory Program, people like Bob can have better days and more memories to share. For Bob, it was a matter of finding the right music.