Ninety five year-old Niels Nielsen is a life-long fan of sermons and symphonies, and one of his most prized possessions is his red iPod Shuffle. The iPod was furnished by Music & Memory, a program which provides sufferers of Alzheimer’s with personalized music. Since he and 15 others at the Holly Hall, one of 32 Texas nursing homes which is using Music & Memory, began using the program their reliance on antipsychotic drugs has been significantly reduced.
“The goal is that once they have been introduced to the music, whatever behaviors were warranting the use of anti-psychotics will begin to be reduced, eventually coming off of those medicines completely,” said Michelle Dionne-Vahalik, director of quality monitoring program for the state department. “Because the music and memory program is replacing that medication intervention with a musical therapeutic intervention.”
Because of the program’s success, the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services announced this month that Music & Memory will be expanded to more than 400 Texas nursing home facilities by April 2018.