CAMP Rehoboth Chorus and Friends Music & Memory Project held the Ready, Set, Go and Beyond conference in Lewes Sept. 29, to address the growth of the program throughout Sussex County and bring together representatives who work at assisted living sites using the technique dedicated to using music as a tool to produce various amounts of positive feedback among dementia patients.
“CAMP Rehoboth and Friends are committed to help fund care facilities and provide volunteer support to better assist in the implementation of the Music & Memory Project. We have all been able to make a positive contribution to help provide solutions and care that subsequently improves the quality of life of the over 90 residents currently using music as an outlet,” said Project Chair Beverly Peltz.
There are over 180 forms of dementia including Alzheimer’s disease, all having different symptoms with variations in severity among diagnosed patients, and there is no one who is not at risk for future diagnosis. The effects a diagnosis such as this can have on a person, as well as their family and friends, can be devastating, but alternate forms of increased activity surrounding music have shown positive results almost across the board, according to studies and data collected by Delaware Health and Social Services.
The Music & Memory Project uses music as a tool to help those suffering from any form of dementia by simply allowing those affected to listen to some of their favorite genres and artists. The project uses music technology such as iPods and other MP3 devices to acquire and play music for the patients.
Something taken for granted has shown such a positive reaction varying, of course, by individual. Some of the positive effects that music has helped with are relieving anxiety, decreasing fear, increasing interaction and mood, helping focus, increasing activity and vocalization, sparking memories from the past, helping to decrease use of anti-anxiety and anti-psychotic medicines, and most importantly, contributing to a better quality of life.
CAMP Rehoboth has helped over 10 facilities in Sussex County set up their programs, achieve certification, provide MP3 devices and other technology such as laptops and iTunes Cards while offering continued support whenever needed. In Delaware, these non-federally funded sites do not receive money from the state to explore alternate treatments, so CAMP Rehoboth and the many other sponsors/community members have taken it upon themselves to make a difference, despite the obstacles in their way.
“Since the inception of this program, we have seen different degrees of success but always a reduction in overall anxiety. Something as simple as music can change so much in patients with a progress illness such as dementia. “We want to continue to think outside of the box, and use the ever-growing technological assets available to us to make a positive impact in the life of these patients as well as their family and friends,” said Director of Delaware Health and Social Services Mary Peterson.
CAMP Rehoboth encourages community involvement, and is also accepting donations of used MP3 players that can be dropped off directly at CAMP Rehoboth at 39 Baltimore Ave., Rehoboth.
For more information about the Music and Memory organization as a whole, go to musicandmemory.org/ and for inquires with CAMP Rehoboth Music and Memory Project contact email@example.com or call 302-227-5620.