Dementia Care Strategy - Music & Memory

Dementia Care Strategy – Music & Memory

Music has the power to awaken the mind. With the Music & Memory program at Living Branches, residents are brought closer to loved ones. Hear about some more of the positive effects from the director of dementia care strategy, Kathleen Roberts, and the history of the organization.

Dementia Care Strategy: Music & Memory at Living Branches

Kathleen Roberts – Director of Dementia Care Strategy

“My name is Kathleen Roberts; I’m the director of dementia care strategy at Living Branches. We have an opportunity to really shape how dementia looks, feels and what it is for our residents at Living Branches. One of the programs that we’ve initiated because of how effective it is, is the program called Music & Memory. Music & Memory was started by a gentleman who was trained as a social worker but he spent his whole career in IT and now he’s at the end of his career and he recognized that when he goes to a nursing home, he wants his favorite music and he didn’t want to compromise that. And lo and behold, when he looked and saw these things called iPods and he figured out that he could put his playlist on his iPod and listen to that forever. So he did that. Put it on for himself, but then he decided to try that for other adults. He went to a nursing home in New York, near him, and started videotaping what that did for the residents of this nursing home. It was phenomenal and because of that he’s now turned that into a whole nonprofit effort. But it really does make a difference seeing individuals impacted by music and what a favorite song can do.”

“Do you like that?”, staff. “That’s similar, let’s go to the hop hop hop hop hop,” resident.

“Do you enjoy listening to music?”, Olga’s family member. “Sure. Wow,” resident Olga Bliss. “Do you know who that is making the big sound? That’s Dad. You just listened to Dad because we were just playing the music. Yeah enjoy it! Enjoy doing that!”, Olga’s family member.

Maureen McShea – Life Enrichment Coordinator

“Hello my name is Maureen McShea. I’m the life enrichment coordinator here at Personal Care so I do Oakwood Court and Harmony House Memory Care unit. So the first time we put Dot’s headphones on; when we put them on, it was her son’s music which is really powerful. But when she turned and looked in the mirror and saw these big clunky things on her ears, she just started laughing so I grabbed them like, sorry, like,I didn’t want to upset her. So when I went to pull it off she grabbed it and put them right back on, which I knew was a sign that this is going to be very powerful.”

“That you’re doing something that’s very important to yourself and that’s really great,” Harry Moore. “Well we we take everything out and I still there,” Dot Moore. “Anything that keeps her on the music of the soul will be helpful to her,” Harry.

Kathleen Roberts

“This is all about meeting the needs of our residents but our community as well. That’s who we are at Living Branches. We see it as, this is a bigger calling than just a job. We want to do something that makes a difference.”