Music Therapy for Alzheimer's Patients

Dallas Senior Living Facility uses singing and dancing to treat disease

By Andres Gutierrez
|  Monday, Jan 21, 2013  |  Updated 6:48 PM CDT
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A Dallas senior living facility is incorporating music into its daily therapy for patients with Alzheimer's disease.

Andres Gutierrez, NBC 5 News

A Dallas senior living facility is incorporating music into its daily therapy for patients with Alzheimer's disease.

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A Dallas senior living facility has incorporated music into daily therapy.

As a former statistician in the United States Air Force, numbers were a big part of Annye Flanagan's life. But now, ask her one important number, her age, and it doesn't come easy.

Flanagan is one of the dozens of people with Alzheimer’s disease at the Windsor Senior Living facility.

It’s a facility that, with dance and song, is attempting to bring back precious memories as they fight a disease that is robbing them of their ability to recollect life's moments.

"We try to make sure that we're communicating with them the songs that they used to sing," Lilly Adrian, the life enrichment director with Windsor Senior Living said.

For 80-year old, Clyde Null Jr., it does in fact bring a sense of nostalgia.

"I like any of them because they're usually things I sang in high school. So there's not much to learn," Null Jr., an Alzheimer's patient, said.

Asha Bhakta-Rozier is one of the instructors and notices the difference.

"Once you bring music into the conversation, it changes. They become more positive, the physical reaction is the body opens up, the mouth opens up and you see a smile,” Bhakta-Rozier said.

In addition to the music therapy program, there are three floors at the facility each dedicated to one of the three stages of the disease.

"They give us the best of them and now they deserve the best of us," Bhakta-Rozier said.

Windsor Senior Living hopes to expand its facilities and music therapy program in the near future.

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