NORMAN, Okla. – Many of us know how difficult Alzheimer’s and dementia can be on patients and families.
Seeing them lose memories and abilities to perform daily tasks can be devastating.
However, with music therapy, Oklahoma therapists are making memory breakthroughs.
Just a strum of a guitar can take you back to a place and time.
We’ve all experienced the power of music, but could a simple tune bring back memories once thought inaccessible, erased by Alzheimer’s?
“It’s very frustrating to her, she can’t stand being this way,” Marla Hardee said.
Her other, 68-year-old Anetta Drager, can’t remember the simplest things; if it’s time to eat, if she’s taking her life-saving medicine.
She was diagnosed with dementia five years ago.
However, with music playing, the former line dancer claps along, seeming to remember who she once was.She recalls the types of music she listened to, a lost piece from the past.
Music Therapists Jennifer Voss said music is the key to unlocking memories deleted by disease.
When you play an instrument, when you listen to your favorite song, studies show it triggers chemicals in our brain.
The same goes for Alzheimer patients when listening to their favorite music.
They show improvements in behavior and speech, even recall old stories.
They walk away relaxed, needing less medication.
Voss has even seen patients learn new material in song form.
A powerful tool that clears the path to memory lane.Just a simple tune can bring someone back to the life they once lived.