Musical Memoirs Program

Musical Memoirs is an evidence based music program for patients with Alzheimer’s disease that is designed to enhance the quality of life of our patients. The program provides listening experiences through personalized playlists and music sessions with our volunteer musicians. Music is used to improve mood, decrease agitation, stimulate memories, and provide a socially engaging environment.

What are the benefits of music?

Music has the ability to reduce anxiety, depression and stress levels, as well a regulate pain management. Music can also improve self expression, communication with others, mood and other cognitive changes. In regards to Alzheimer’s disease, music is able to minimize difficult behaviors (such as aggression, agitation, confusion, hallucinations, sleep issues, sundowning, suspicion, and wandering) and recover memories. Hearth Hospice is implementing these benefits in our Musical Memoirs program.

What do music sessions look like?

Sessions are typically at a patient’s home or in a patient’s room at an assisted living facility. Each music session lasts about twenty minutes. The Musical Memoirs program is crafted to offer two options: musicians and playlists. If a patient is interested in our musician option, they are paired with a musician based on the patient’s responses to our questionnaire. All patients in the Musical Memoirs program are eligible for our playlist option, whereby we create a personalized playlist for each patient. This playlist is burned onto a CD that can be used to alleviate difficult behaviors in patients with Alzheimer’s as well as serve as a memento of the music that their loved one enjoyed and listened to during their final days.

Are the team members of the Musical Memoirs program music therapists?

While our team members are not music therapists, each team member is required to attend training to understand the relationship between music, the brain, and Alzheimer’s disease. Team members are eligible to be a part of both options of the Musical Memoirs program as either a volunteer musician or playlist creator. If you are interested in becoming a team member, please call our office at 423-531-6555 for more information.

How can I play their playlist for them?

I have received my loved one’s completed playlist, but have no way to play the CD. Hearth Hospice collects donated CD players and boomboxes to loan to patients upon receiving their personal playlists. If you have a device that you would like to donate to a patient in need, please contact our office at: (423) 531-6555, for more details.