Forrest Reed said it was difficult to watch his 93-year-old mother Betty suffer from the effects of Alzheimer’s disease. But when he stumbled upon the Music & Memory program, things started to look up.
“She loved music,” Reed said. "It made a difference in regards to her agitation. If we went to a doctor's appointment, she was much more calm and relaxed.”
The Music & Memory Program brings personalized music, such as a wedding song, into the lives of those dealing with Alzheimer’s and Dementia.
Reed said it worked so well for his mom, that he became a volunteer advocate for the non-profit organization and started spreading the word to local care facilities.
"Music really makes everybody happy, it really does, and especially if you hear a song from your past it brings back those happy memories and puts you in a place of happiness,” said Casey Simon, the Director of Community Relations for Revere Court Memory Care in Sacramento.
Simon said so far 40 people have enrolled in the program. It’s even inspired the staff to have regular dance parties.
Support For Home, a home care agency has also follow suit.
"We had one of our clients, who when we played Frank Sinatra, 'I Left My Heart in San Francisco,’ that made her remember her college days,” said April Carni, the Community Relations Manager.
While memory loss can be hard on the family, Reed said the program helped him stay connected to his mom she passed.
"She couldn't no longer dance like we used to but we were able to dance in a different way,” Reed said.
For more information on the program you can visit www.MusicandMemory.org .