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Ohio Nursing Homes Using Music To Help Residents With Dementia

Pastakala Oaks Care Center is one of the first in the state to use this new approach.

Dementia is a disease that can slowly steal one’s memories.

It is a slow, irreversible process that often leads to Alzheimer’s.

But some Ohio nurse homes are starting to use a simple technique that’s getting miraculous results.

Pastakala is one of those nursing homes to use the new approach called Music and Memory.

Experts said the human brain is hard-wired to connect music with long term memory.

They said playing songs from a person’s past can unlock scenes from their lives long hidden in their own minds.

 “It really does bring them alive. We’ve had positive reaction with all the residents with the music,” Pataskala Oaks Life Enrichment Coordinator Holly Melick said.

Currently 18 residents at Pataskala Oaks are in the program and it’s having an impact. They’ve been able to cut the use of anti-psychotic drugs at the facility in half.

“It really makes a difference for the family  members, especially among those where residents haven’t been remembering their names or making that personal connection with them,” Beverly Laubert of the Ohio Department of Aging said. “To have them make that connection again is really heartwarming.”

Researchers said they’ve seen great results from using this personalized music program.

Nursing home residents who’ve been silent or less talkative have become more social. Sad or depressed patients feel happier.  People that have been less mobile become more physically active.

There are close to a thousand nursing homes facilities in Ohio. State officials said 267 of the care centers are using the Music and Memory program.