Friday, November 19, 2010

Recommended Music for Alzheimer's Disease

Last week our participants at The George G. Glenner Alzheimer's Family Centers were treated to a performance by Barry Allen Cohen, also known as Big Daddy of the Big Daddy Orchestra. Barry belted out timeless tunes from past greats like Frank Sinatra and current chart-toppers such as Michael Buble. He also displayed some serious classical guitar skills.

We recently asked our three center managers for recommended music to play for loved ones with dementia, particularly Alzheimer's disease. Here's what they suggested:

I'd have to say that two favorite music types here are :

1- Frank Sinatra era... they love to dance and sing along to these classics
2- Enya - Shepherd Moons.. this is a calming favorite here, great for before lunch when the pt's seem to get agitated and in the later afternoon when they start the sundowning. --Dawn DeStefani, South Bay Center in Chula Vista

Any of the old big band groups are excellent. The ones from the 40’s like Jimmy Dorsey. --Sheila Meyer Argeanton, North County Center in Encinitas
There are catalogs that can help you select appropriate music and other activities. Marge Galante, our center manager at our Hillcrest Center in San Diego, suggested the following resources:

Nasco Senior Activities

The Alzheimer's Store

You might also find joyful tunes in children's catalogs as well, since many songs evoke memories of their own childhood and those of early parenthood.