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Music Affecting the Memory of Alzheimer’s Patients

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Alzheimer’s disease is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States (Help End Alzheimer's.). It is a common form of dementia categorized by a progressive decline in cognitive function (Simmons-Stern, 2010). According to the Alzheimer’s Association, “More than 500,000 seniors die each year because they have Alzheimer's disease”. Therefore Alzheimer’s disease kills more people than prostate and breast cancer together (Help End Alzheimer's.) Although there is no cure or treatment to slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease it can be treated with medication, memory activities, and music therapy. The main classification of medication that is used for Alzheimer disease is Cholinesterase inhibitors. A noninvasive and inexpensive intervention to enhance the memory of the Alzheimer’s patient is music therapy. Music therapy is using diverse types of music to promote physical, emotion and behavioral well-being. (Covington,1997). Using music therapy in Alzheimer’s patients has also been shown to expand communication, express feelings and decrease behavioral problems. There has been a certified program rapidly spreading across the Milwaukee area that improves the quality of life in Alzheimer’s patients by incorporating music. Music and memory is a program that aids in memory enhancement and quality of life of Alzheimer’s patients and it has advantages and disadvantages.
The Program Description
Music and memory is a nonprofit organization that incorporates music into the daily lives of elderly Alzheimer’s patients. The Music and Memory program was started in 2010 by Dan COHEN. Dan started the music and memory program because he pondered on how he would feel if he was not able to listen to his favorite tunes when he was elderly. T...

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Covington, Holly, RN,M.S., C.C.R.N., (1997). Music therapy as a nursing intervention. Journal of Psychosocial Nursing & Mental Health Services, 35(3), 34-7. Retrieved from http://0-search.proquest.com.topcat.switchinc.org/docview/1024299036?accountid=10249
Help End Alzheimer's. (n.d.). Alzheimer's Association. Retrieved April 22, 2014, from http://www.alz.org/index.asp
Sambandham, (1995). Music as a nursing intervention for residents with alzheimer's disease in long-term care. Geriatric Nursing (New York, N.Y.), 16(2), 79-83. doi:10.1016/S0197-4572(05)80011-4
Simmons-Stern, (2010). Music as a memory enhancer in patients with alzheimer's disease. Neuropsychologia, 48(10), 3164-3167. doi:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2010.04.033
Witzke J. How sweet the sound: research evidence for the use of music in Alzheimer's dementia. Journal of gerontological nursing. 2008;34:45.
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