Nov 04, 2015

Dementia: Stories of Music Therapy

Gary Thorpe, General Manager of Silver Memories, a twenty-four hour music station for seniors shares with Aged Care Report Card a touching account of the benefits observed after listening to the program. Gary received a letter from a man who was the primary carer for his wife who has Alzheimer’s. Her disease progressed to the point that he had to stop working to care for her full time. They first came across Silver Memories when a neighbour had asked if they had heard of the station and suggested they give it a try. Soon after listening to the music the man started to notice significant improvements with his wife, she was more engaging and communicative. To show his gratitude the man sent Gary a cheque and a kind note to express his gratitude which said something to the effect of “Silver Memories has made such a difference to our lives. I have my wife back and I have my life back”.

More than words: A dying ladies companion

Gary received a letter from an aged care facility informing him about a resident diagnosed with dementia who hadn’t spoken a word for around 4 years. Following the death of her husband her condition became worse. With minimal family the facility had arranged for the Silver Memories radio to be played in her room. A short time later after listening to the radio a cleaner was in her room when the lady spoke up and said “I know this song”. It was apparently her first words in years. The cleaner ran out her room with such excitement telling the other staff what she had just witnessed. The impact of listening to music for this lady was so positive that the staff made sure the music was always playing in her room, becoming a constant companion for her.

The lady sadly passed away three months ago from Alzheimer’s disease. The aged care facility shared with Gary that only moments before she died one of her favourite songs was played on the radio. Such a powerful interaction for both the staff and Gary hearing about it later.

These are just two of the many examples of how Silver Memories station has positively impacted on seniors. If you have similar stories to share highlighting the benefits of music therapy from Silver Memories or other music therapies then please share with us.

 

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