MOUNT LAUREL, N.J.— Brandywine Senior Living and the Alzheimer’s Association Delaware Valley Chapter have successfully concluded a 60-day Music and Memory Pilot Program in December. The results of the program demonstrated how the power of “individualized” music can make a difference in social engagement, deeper connections with caregivers, and overall mood for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease.
“The Music and Memory Pilot Program, which used personalized music for residents with moderate to later stages of Alzheimer’s disease, demonstrated to be very effective at Brandywine,” said Maria Nadelstumph, Vice President of Organizational Development and Program Excellence at Brandywine Senior Living. “The connection to familiar songs was evident and you could visibly see how the music touched the resident. From smiling, singing, laughing and increased engagement, the results of using personalized music was validation on the therapeutic and powerful benefits of music in memory care. It is truly amazing that something so simple can create a magical (and lasting) moment in someone’s life.”
Launched in September 2015, Brandywine was chosen to work exclusively with the Alzheimer’s Association Delaware Valley Chapter to pilot the program at four South Jersey Brandywine communities (Brandall Estates, Moorestown Estates, Haddonfield, and Voorhees). Favorite musical artists, songs, and genres that were meaningful and enjoyable for the residents were collected and a personal set list was developed. Individual music sessions with 25 residents were conducted over the course of eight weeks, using personalized iPods. Residents were noted to demonstrate a high level of engagement and a marked brighter mood during their individual music session with the facilitator.
“Thanks to the partnership with Brandywine and their extraordinarily detailed efforts, the Music and Memory Pilot Program turned out to be a huge success,” said Krista McKay, Alzheimer’s Association Director of Programs and Services. “From that success, the Alzheimer’s Association has garnered significant attention and requests from other long term care and home care agencies to reproduce the program in their organizations. We are really grateful that they were not only able to help their own residents with this program, but also help us at the Association expand our reach and awareness.”
Due to the success of the pilot program, Brandywine will incorporate this added feature to their existing signature program, Music is Magic. A roll out company-wide is planned for Spring 2016.