Silver Bluff Village looks to help residents' memory through music

Aug 19, 2013
Photo by: Donated photo Lillian Justice, a resident at Silver Bluff, enjoys some of her favorite classical music as part of the Alive Inside program.

Silver Bluff Village in Canton is taking steps to use music therapy to help residents suffering from dementia. Director of Activities Michael Conard recently attended a seminar in Raleigh on the power of music and memory. The program “Music & Memory: Alive Inside” focuses on “awakening” individuals who may have dementia (i.e. Alzheimer’s, etc.) by using music on an individual basis. Music therapy has always played an important role in the lives of Silver Bluff Village residents, but the Alive Inside program takes it one step further by spotlighting each resident's individual musical tastes instead of group preferences.

“The residents can become easily distracted in a group setting and they sometimes end up missing out on the music that is being played,” Conard explained. “By using iPods and other personal devices, we can help the resident block out all other sounds and focus primarily on some of their favorite music.”

Conard said some studies have shown that residents become more alert and orientated to self and surroundings when they are able to listen to music from their era without interruption from the world around them.

“We are ready to start implementing this program, but we do need some help,” Conard continued. “We are looking for music-playing devices that we can attach headphones to (preferably iPods or iPod Shuffles). These devices allow us to download hours of their favorite music. In addition, we need headphones and ear buds that can be plugged into these devices.”

Those who are interested in donating equipment can drop off items between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at Silver Bluff's business office, located at 100 Silver Bluff Drive.

In addition, those interested in helping with the Alive Inside program can contact 549-0317 or email mconard@silverbluffvillage.com. More information about the Alive Inside program is also available by searching "Alive Inside Film of Music and Memory Project — Henry's Story" on YouTube.

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