As an alternative to medicine, Alzheimer’s patient Cora Freeberg has turned to music therapy to help bring back her memories.
When she hears a familiar song from her past, Freeberg lights up and seems full of joy.
Music therapist Karley Hawley runs the program at Quail Park in Lynnwood and starts each session strumming a few favorites on her guitar. She says the music helps bring the residents back to life.
“I would basically draw from era of music when they were in their teens and early 20s. Those particular songs, I think for most of us, hold the biggest more powerful memories.” she said.
An estimated 5.2 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease, and almost two-thirds of American seniors living with Alzheimer’s are women, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. Alzheimer’s is an irreversible, progressive brain disease that slowly destroys memory, thinking skills, and eventually even the ability to carry out the simplest tasks. But music therapy can enrich the lives of those with Alzheimer’s and can slowly bring back those faded memories, if only for a short time.
In a now-famous YouTube video, Henry, an elderly man with dementia, is slumped in a chair and unable to recognize his own daughter until music from his youth miraculously brings him out of his stupor.
The following video features another beautiful example of exactly how music can transform our lives and heal the soul.
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