Keswick Using Music To Stimulate Memories
Keswick Multicare, a nonprofit senior care facility, is using iPods to help residents with dementia.
Flora Spangle, a dementia patient at Keswick Multicare, has some trouble with memory, but she knows what kind of music she enjoys.
"I like good jazz. But I want to hear jazz when I’m in that kind of a mood… to you know to move around. But if you’re hearing something from the opera that doesn’t give you much chance of dancing around," Spangle said.
Spangle is one of five special care residents at Keswick who are participating in a pilot program where patients are given iPods and headphones loaded with music they enjoy to help with issues such as agitation or difficulty sleeping.
Jane Haynes, the director of education who introduced the concept at the facility, said so far the program has produced good results with patients. She said that they’ve had decent to very good results so far with four of the five patients.
"One of the things about music is that it’s a long term memory, and again, if we’re choosing songs that mean something to them, they maybe able to sing along, even though they may not speak very much at this point. Because they’re actually two different places in the brain, so I could sing a song or recite poetry, but I may not be able to have a conversation," Haynes said. "So that makes them feel good. It actually makes their families feel good. So not only is the resident better, but sometimes the families feel better."
Haynes said Keswick feels ready to try and expand the program to see if they can duplicate the success so far with more residents. She said Keswick is looking into buying iPods with more memory space so that they can begin replacing their collection of CDs and creating more specialized play lists for individuals.
"I think we’re ready to expand this program. We are going to keep it on special care—our dementia area—to me it’s something that is really applicable to a lot of different people since we have so many patients with dementia," Haynes said.