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The Program at Eastern Health

Music & MemoryIn 2014 and early 2015, the Music & Memory program was successfully piloted at three Eastern Health sites:

Since then, the program has been introduced to 11 long-term care facilities across Eastern Health. This expansion was made possible through generous community support, including a partnership with Holy Heart of Mary High School in November 2015 that resulted in the donation of approximately 150 iPods.

Ongoing community engagement and iPod drives are essential to help maintain Music & Memory, and bring personal iPods to as many of the 1700 residents as possible currently living in long-term care.

Music & Memory

Success Stories at Eastern Health  

The Music & Memory program has been very successful among all residents who have received therapeutic music intervention.

Some success stories, observed by staff, include:
  • A woman, who is blind and also has dementia, experiences tremendous anxiety when she is alone. Listening to the favourite country tunes on her iPod helps her relax when her spouse or staff are not available. Instead of weeping or wailing, she has been seen dancing down the halls or tapping her toes.

  • Another resident who suffers from advanced dementia is able to focus her thoughts and speak when she listens to her favourite lyrics. In those moments, while signing to the rhythm of the music, the resident returns to her lively and talkative personality.

  • In the weeks before her passing, a woman with a lifelong love of music, would sign, laugh and sometimes cry over the beauty of her music. Even as her condition deteriorated, personalized music brought her comfort and joy.

  • After several days listening to her favourite music, a resident with advanced dementia, and who was non-verbal – began to speak again. She was able to let other people know her wishes, and can now communicate with family and members of her health care team.

  • A resident, who was normally agitated and combative during morning care (i.e. washing and dressing,) became more relaxed and content after listening to his favourite lyrics.

  • Therapeutic music intervention has inspired singing and dancing at Eastern Health’s long-term care facilities. Overall, residents are happier and less agitated.

Please watch this video clip to see the positive impact of the Music & Memory program at Eastern Health!


Music & Memory

Updated Nov 23, 2016