VA uses a new program to help patients with Alzheimer's and Dementia

VA uses a new program to help patients with Alzheimer's and Dementia

Patients at the VA with later stages of Alzheimer's and Dementia have a new program to help them better cope with their symptoms. The program is called music and memory and the it gives patients an iPod along with a smile. The music can bring a tap of the hands back into the patients at the VA.

They are using this new type of treatment to help patents cope with their disease. Carol Gardener is the music therapist at the VA Community Living Center and she gets to know her patients by asking them favorite kind of music. One resident says, "I like it all, They can tall that by going and looking in my room."

Then they are provided an iPod filled with only what they like. Carol says, "We like to give individualized playlist's, because its important, we don't like to just give everyone the same music. We try to find out about  that person."

This is important because the music can help them to remember past memories. One man was very quiet and reserved until he listened to Johnny Cash. It is his favorite music and we saw him come to life when it started to play. The families of the patients love the program because it is giving them another opportunity to connect with their loved one.

"The families get excited when they actually have something that they can share. Especially in the end stages of Dementia, it might be difficult to come into a long term care facility and visit with your loved one who is not like the person they were before."

The VA is in need of iPods and headphones because the demand for the program is so great. If you are interested in donating your iPod call the Amarillo VA (806) 355-9703 for more information.