For Alzheimer’s patients, music can be a light in the darkness

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La Crosse, Wis. — Searching for a long-lost memory can be a frustrating experience for Alzheimer’s patients and their families. But research shows music can help reclaim some of those memories and offer temporary lucidity.

At assisted living facilities across the United States and Canada, music is helping patients with advanced Alzheimer’s rekindle some of their memories.

There are six elder care facilities using the Music and Memory program in Minnesota and more than 100 in Wisconsin, one in South Dakota and three in North Dakota, according to the program’s website.

Health care workers say the playlists calm patients, improve their mood, and in some cases, reduce the need for anti-anxiety and anti-psychotic medication.


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