Did you ever find yourself singing along with a song but didn’t even realize you knew all the words? This has happened to me countless times, if asked to say the words of the song, I’d be lost. That’s because music is deeply encoded in various parts of the brain and triggers deep-seated memories. It’s almost an automatic response, like repeating the Pledge of Allegiance, The Lord’s Prayer or singing your country’s national anthem.
The fact is that the simple act of listening to a favorite song can alter your mood, evoke strong emotions and trigger memories from long ago. When we hear music, it has an almost immediate effect on our being. It can be soothing, inspirational and evokes feelings of happiness and sadness. We can say it connects us on a very deep human level.
Dan Cohen discovered that you can reach people with dementia through music, but not just any music, through their favorite songs. It helps them access autobiographical musical memories that have not been damaged by the disease process. The result is connection, not only with themselves, but with the present environment, including family and friends; even if it’s only for a brief period of time. For those who have not been able to interact or communicate with their loved one or person for whom they are caring, this is an indescribable gift.
In the first section of this course, Dan guides you to understand the many ways in which personalized play lists enhance the well-being and quality of life for persons living with dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease.
The second section of the course helps you understand the importance of understanding how to effectively communicate with a person living with dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease. This often involves not only looking beyond the words the person is saying, but also examining how we are communicating beyond our spoken words.