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Music & Memory Program

Open Arms began using the program January 2015. We are 1 of only 75 facilities in the state of North Carolina Certified as a Music & Memory Facility. The results have been nothing less of astonishing.

What is Music & Memory?

Music & Memory is all about bringing joy into the lives of people suffering from Alzheimer's, Dementia and a wide range of cognitive and physical impairments. Personal musical favorites can tap deep into memories not lost to dementia and can reawaken elders; enabling them to feel like themselves again, converse, socialize and stay present.

How it Works!

A personalized playlist of the residents favorite songs are downloaded onto an iPod. The residents can choose to add new songs or delete songs from their iPod as often as they like. The iPod is used with headphones to make the experience even more personal for the individual. The iPod and other equipment are kept in a secure area accessible to staff when the resident is ready for their music session.

Logo for Music & Memory

The Brain-Music Connection

As we all know from hearing that song associated with a first love or the hits that were popular in our teen years, music is profoundly linked to personal memories. In fact, our brains are hard wired to connect music with longterm memory. Even with persons with severe dementia, music can tap deep emotional recall. For individuals suffering from Alzheimer's, more recent memory for things like names, places and facts are compromised, but memories from our teenage years can be well-preserved.

Favorite music or songs associated with important personal events can trigger memory of lyrics and the experience connected to the music. Beloved music often calms chaotic brain activity and enables the listener to focus on the present moment and regain a connection to others.

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