Music therapy program
Music therapy is an important part of our day at SarahCare. Participants facing memory challenges, dementia and Alzheimer’s respond well, showing discernable improvement in their cognitive skills.
Our music therapy program is conducted by John Lehman. It includes an array of activities including "guided listening", which involves listening to selected music tracks to which adults and seniors have shown positive emotional reactions.
Music therapy also involves singing and clapping along to music, and talking and reminiscing about the feelings and memories the music evokes.
John also engages participants in "hand dancing", in which the participant remains seated. For those able and willing, John will also dance with them for a brief stint standing up, although never for the length of an entire song.
In addition, we have a karaoke machine which our participants have a lot of fun with under the guidance of our staff.
Along with our music therapy programs, we also play background music at appropriate times throughout the day. The genres include big band and swing music, light jazz, country, classical and pop music from every era.
For the benefit of retiring baby boomers, we are now mixing in the best songs from the 1960s through mid-1970s as well, including great artists such as The Beatles, Neil Diamond, The Beach Boys, Fleetwood Mac, The Eagles and more.
We change formats frequently, so your loved one is sure to hear music they like throughout the day.
If someone wants to hear a particular genre or artist, we can even set them up with headphones and a music player filled with the music of their choice.
According to neurologists, music has a unique ability to awaken the emotional side of the brain which can stir memories and associations in adults and seniors. This stimulation can improve their ability to recall long ago events, and to reason and communicate.
Benefits of music therapy
- Triggers positive memories and emotions through association
- Engages participants as a group
- Creates a fun social environment
- Promotes physical activities like dancing, foot tapping and clapping
- Relieves stress and anxiety
- Eases pain by releasing endorphins
Studies show that music therapy is beneficial not only for dementia patients; it is helpful to all adults and seniors. Seniors often experience a decline in activity and social contact, causing them to withdraw and become more isolated. Music therapy can help reawaken them emotionally, draw them out and renew their zest for life.
Hundreds of families from the Greater San Jose Area have benefited from our music therapy program.
Do you have a loved one with memory or cognitive challenges? Bring them to SarahCare for some music therapy. This is one of many programs we offer to stimulate our participants’ minds, bodies and spirits.