Using music to recover patient's lost memories
He sits tucked away in a corner of the café in Southbrooke Manor, with his hat pulled down over his face, swaying softly. It is barely audible, but he’s humming. In his prime, Dr. Michael Andrews, a PhD holder in English, taught at the collegiate level. Today, time has done what time does, and he isn’t as cognizant as he used to be. The staff at Southbrooke Manor are trying to help him recapture parts of himself he can’t always remember. Part of the answer, they’ve found, is music. With headphones on and their favorite tunes from their youth floating into their ears, some residents are finding pieces of themselves thought long gone. They’re inspired by the work of Dan Cohen, a social worker in New York, and his project called Music and Memory. Originally focused on patients facing Alzheimers and other forms of dementia, Cohen’s work was featured in the 2012 documentary, Alive Inside: A Story of Music and Memory. Cohen’s website, musicandmemory.org, is home to a host of links, which lead to a body or research into the minds of dementia patients, calming their anxiety, and using music to suppress their agitation.
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