Older Adult Services
Cheryl (name changed) was an 83 year old woman with a bright smile and a cheery disposition. She lived on a memory care unit and at the time that I met her, dementia had robbed her of most of her language. When she did speak, it didn’t make sense but boy did she love to interact with others! During music therapy, she came alive! She sang every word and in that moment, it was as if she was her old self. I loved seeing her sing. She smiled. She danced. Following one particular session I commented to the CNAs on the unit how well she was doing in music therapy. They responded that they just wish it ‘stuck’. She couldn’t learn anything new. I smiled and mentioned a song she had sung just that session. The CNAs smiled back and one said she must of heard it on the radio at some point. It was my turn to laugh. I had written the song earlier that week. She had in fact, learned, and retained, something new! Music accesses an area of the brain Dementia can’t touch and for that reason alone, it is a POWERFUL tool to use to improve overall quality of life.
Who we serve
We have experience working with older adults who have been diagnosed with Dementia, Parkinson’s Disease, Stroke, Developmental Disabilities, Mental Health Disorders, Traumatic Brain Injuries, and older adults who are overall well.
Types of Programs
Sensory Music Therapy
Room to Room Visits
Music Games for Cognition
Adult Choirs and Ensembles
Music for Movement
Snippets of Research...
The effects of background music during unstructured time was examined for individuals with Alzheimer’s Disease. Results showed a significant increase in positive social behaviors and a significant decrease in negative behaviors related to agitation when the music was played. (Ziv, et al, 2007)
An intergenerational music therapy group was conducted with older adults and fourth grade students. Ten, 30-min music therapy sessions were conducted. Biweekly questionnaires were conducted. Results showed a decrease in negative descriptions of older adults and an increase in positive descriptions of older adults by the students. The older adults’ attitudes toward children significantly improved. Analysis of data showed that the older adults improved in their self-reflection of feeling “useful”. (Belgrave, 2011)
Eighty-three adults over the age of 65 participated in a choir, preventative music therapy group, or music appreciation session. Participants reported an improvement in at least one area of their life to include physical health, subjective health, psychological well-being, or interpersonal relations. (Sole et al, 2010)
Research has shown that singing songs from an individual’s past elicited memories, especially songs relating to their social and national identity. The act of singing was observed to elicit spontaneous responses and discussion in a group of individual with late stage Alzheimer’s Disease. After singing, the participants in this study reported positive feelings, a sense of accomplishment, and belonging. (Dassa and Amir, 2014)
An exploratory study was conducted to test a caregiver administered music program with family members with dementia. The music protocol was designed to reduce distress and enhance satisfaction with caregiving while offering the individual with dementia the potential to improve mood and psychological state. Caregivers and care recipients improved self-reported relaxation, comfort, and happiness. Caregivers showed the most benefit. More direct intervention by a music therapist was recommended to improve the impact of music. (Hanser et al, 2011)
A study was conducted with individuals who had a stroke and had current hemiparesis in the upper extremities. The participants recevied six, 35 minute music therapy sessions. Therapeutic Instrument Performance was used as the primary intervention. Results indicated significant improvements in the wrist and hand position following treatment. (Yoo, 2009)
196 Queen St.
Southington, CT 06489
125 Shaw St.
New London, CT 06320
General Questions/ Referrals:
Main Line (860) 518-5557
Fax (888) 200-4093