Music and Memory Program At The Ambassador
The Ambassador of Scarsdale offers the Music and Memory Program to its residents coping with progressive memory issues. Adding this cutting edge programming at The Ambassador further advances the mission of enhancing the quality of life for elders through personalized music. In making the announcement, Jean Dunphy stated, “This program is not only person-centered, it meets individuals where they are, regardless of their level of cognition or ambulation and has established a new best practice and gold standard in the care industry. Trained staff will be using logs to measure individualized behavioral objectives shown through residents’ cognitive and social responses to the program in hopes of seeing desirable long-term outcomes in order to make therapeutic music a standard of care”. The Ambassador’s hope is to add to the research that is helping the healthcare industry understand how this form of personalized therapeutic music benefits people with cognitive impairment.
While music programs have always been a focus at The Ambassador, the use of the Music and Memory program’s personalized playlists and interventions have been shown to not only provide entertainment value but to also offset the use of pharmacologic interventions, reduce behaviors associated with sun downing, and decrease feelings of boredom, isolation, pain and depression. Personalized playlists bring to life the musical histories of their owners and act as a bridge to connect with feelings, shared experiences and sometimes memories that have faded over time. Just as the smell of freshly baked cookies or the sound of waves crashing on the shore stir feelings and memories, music transports individuals back to another place and time. Specific songs speak to a musical history helping to enhance quality of life, increase communication and social engagement and restore identity and personhood. Family, friends and care partners together capture milestone musical moments collecting music on iPods to brighten a mood on a gloomy day or even smooth out what might otherwise be challenging day-to-day activities such as preparing for a shower or simply changing clothes.
The Music and Memory Program at The Ambassador of Scarsdale has been designed to further enable family members and care partners to appreciate the power of music and how it is a thread connecting each to one another even in instances when words no longer can. Not only does staff create individualized care plans, they also tune in and work and play with family members and care partners to essentially recreate the soundtracks that have accompanied residents’ life stories.