La Paz Geropsychiatric Center in Paramount, CA was chosen to be a part of the pilot study of Music & Memory through CAHF and UC Davis; the program seeks to enliven and enrich the lives of those who have been diagnosed with dementia. La Paz received 15 iPod shuffles from the Music & Memory study program, and 15 residents with a diagnosis of dementia were chosen to participate in the program. Each resident was interviewed to find out more about their favorite music: what artists they enjoyed, what live concerts they’d seen in their youth, any musicals they enjoyed, or what genre was most appealing to them. Rehabilitation staff then worked to download the music on to each resident’s personal iPod.
Although the study is to last for three years, so far there have been some encouraging results:
- Residents who prefer to spend their time in their room have been more social with others.
- Those who are sometimes loud and difficult to redirect, listen to their music quietly with big smiles on their faces and sway to the beat.
- Others who can be rather disorganized and difficult to understand find their voices and sing full songs with proper lyrics.
We are looking forward to see what other changes may come about in the future to improve the overall well-being of these residents!