Musical Minds improves quality of life


By Hannah Myers - [email protected]



Courtesy Photo Music therapy can be used to ease problems of those with Alzheimer’s and dementia and create a calmer social environment.


WEST JEFFERSON — Ashe Assisted Living and Memory Care will host a Roll-Out Party for their newest program, Musical Minds on Aug. 27 at 6 p.m..

Musical Minds is a program that is intended to enhance the quality of life for patients with cognitive impairments such as dementia and Alzheimer’s through music.

Administrator Bevin South first learned of the program in March of 2014 after seeing the documentary “Alive Inside” which shows how music therapy can help ease problems of those with Alzheimer’s while also creating a calmer social environment.

According to South, after seeing the documentary she wanted to find a way to bring music therapy to Ashe Assisted Living. South applied for a grant through Blue Ridge Electric Members Foundation in Aug. 2014 and received the grant the following December.

Using the grant, Ashe Assisted Living was able to purchase iPod’s, headphones and iTunes gift cards for their residents.

In the grant South wrote:

“Our mission is to enrich and celebrate the lives of our residents and we believe that bringing personalized music to each resident will celebrate their life and create a new opportunity to connect with our residents on a different level than ever before. While music is a simple concept most of us take for granted, we are committed to building a music and memory program that will enrich our residents’ lives and provide person-centered care.”

Music therapy has proven to help patients with behavioral issues and to help calm those who are easily agitated. According to South, the program has also proven to reduce the need for anti-psychotic and anti-anxiety medications.

“Anything we can do to reduce the use of medications like that is positive,” South said.

According to South, Ashe Assisted Living is currently working to get the program up and running. The facility received their “Music and Memory Training” certification at the end of February and are now uploading music to iPod’s for residents.

With the grant, Ashe Assisted Living was able to purchase 30 iPod’s, enough for all of their memory care residents. According to South, the music is selected by residents and their families.

“It’s very personal to them,” South said.

Although the Roll-Out Party is scheduled for Aug. 27, patients of Ashe Assisted Living are already being introduced to the iPod’s.

“They are enjoying it and are really excited,” South said. “Families are really excited.”

According to South, many families of residents are hopeful that this will allow the quality of life for their loved one to be enhanced.

“It’s good just knowing that they’re doing something that they enjoy that is meaningful and has a purpose,” South said. “A lot of the time with residents with Alzheimer’s it’s hard for families to see their purpose when they get to a certain point and they can’t function like they used to. So to know they are actively participating in something they enjoy, it’s reassuring.”

South said she will be conducting staff training where staff will be able to watch part of “Alive Inside” and discuss the benefits of the program for residents and staff.

Dr. Dale Hamrick will be present at the Roll-Out Party as an added resource to answer any questions families or community members may have about dementia, Alzheimer’s, or the benefits of music therapy.

Hamrick specializes in internal medicine and geriatrics, a branch of medicine focusing on elderly health care and the practice of preventing and treating diseases and disabilities of older adults. According to South, Hamrick is well versed in dementia and Alzheimer’s.

The Roll-Out Party is open to the public and refreshments will be provided at the event.

Ashe Assisted Living and Memory Care is located at 182 ChattyRob Lane in West Jefferson.

For more information or to RSVP by Aug. 24, call 336-846-6200.

Hannah Myers can be reached at 336-846-7164 or on Twitter @cmedia_hmyers.

Courtesy Photo Music therapy can be used to ease problems of those with Alzheimer’s and dementia and create a calmer social environment.
http://jeffersonpost.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/web1_musicalmindsclr.jpgCourtesy Photo Music therapy can be used to ease problems of those with Alzheimer’s and dementia and create a calmer social environment.

By Hannah Myers

[email protected]

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