Music program helping people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease
Published Monday, August 24, 2015 7:14PM EDT
Music has been said to soothe the soul and for Wayne Cudmore, music has been key to reducing his anxiety.
In 2005, Cudmore’s wife noticed that there was something off with her husband; eight years later he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
“I just enjoy music. It's good for me, it really cools me down actually if I've had a tight day,” he says.
“As my friend says ‘it's my new normal’. It's different, the person is essentially who they are, but they aren't. So for better part of the day he's fine. If Wayne doesn't have rest, it's a problem,” says Marcia Cudmore.
Cudmore says she noticed a change in Wayne's mood and emotions after his diagnosis. So she reached out to the Alzheimer’s Society of Simcoe County and they asked her to take part in a new study involving the use of an iPod.
“The frustration gets really big and he'll just say its fine it doesn't matter and he'll go and take out the iPod and he'll listen to it and it just seems to displace it and then he's fine, he's happy.”
Now Cudmore says whenever her husband is having a bad day, he'll start listening to music and sets his frustration aside to put on his dancing shoes.
Dana Bessette is an education coordinator with the Alzheimer’s Society and says that the “Music and Memory iPod Program” is a helpful tool for people dealing with dementia.
“Their long term memories stays intact longer than their short term memory, and we're finding that people if they are utilizing music that they enjoyed listening earlier in their life that can also help with enjoying day to day tasks.”
Clients are given a wall charger, headphones and an iPod loaded with a personalized playlist with songs that can help maintain personal memories.
“The music is all stuff that transports him back. We spent time in Europe, and some of the songs that he's listening to are Donna Summers and Abba that were there. So it takes him back
Cudmore admits living with someone with Alzheimer’s can be a challenge, but since her husband got his iPod, it's rare to see him without a smile on his face.