Music and Memory

Music and Memory

The Norma Sluizer Music Therapy Fund was established as a designated fund at LightBridge Hospice Community Foundation to support the gift of music and bring joy and peace to hospice patients and their loved ones.  Since the Fund’s inception in 2011, the healing gift of music has been provided in a variety of ways like CD’s, MP3 players and live performances involving volunteers who help celebrate special seasons and holidays and a certified practitioner of therapeutic harp music.     


Music and Memory: Can an iPod Change a Life?

Our newest program is the nationally acclaimed Music and MemorySM  which brings personalized music to those challenged by dementia and other diseases that cause cognitive impairment.  Memories are reawakened through the simple and profound experience of listening to favorite music.  This personalized music system, grounded in extensive neuroscience research about how our brains respond to music, has provided therapeutic benefits in hundreds of long-term care facilities in the U.S. and Canada. For people who suffer from advanced Alzheimer’s Disease severe enough they can no longer recognize their own family or even speak, personalized music from one’s youth can have an amazing impact.  People actually “awaken” and can sing the music when they hear it — a wonderful thing for families and caregivers to experience — often reconnecting them with the loved one they knew before the disease took its toll.    Music playlists delivered using iPods and related digital audio devices have the capacity to transform the quality of life for individuals struggling with a wide range of physical and cognitive impairments. 


How the Music and Memory Certification program works

 As a result of completing the Music and Memory certification program, LightBridge Hospice staff and volunteers are able to create a patient ready iTunes library, efficiently manage individualized patient playlists, handle equipment and security concerns, integrate personalized digital music into care plans, and evaluate the program’s effectiveness.

“I was with a patient who had been intubated and in the ICU at Pomerado Hospital for two weeks.  The family decided to take the patient off of all life sustaining machines.  After the patient was extubated I asked the father what type of music the patient liked.  He stated that group from Britain, and then remembered it was U2.  I put their music on and put the device on the patients pillow.  After a couple of hours the patient opened his eyes and after the father stated ”I Love You”  the patient told his father he loved him.  I asked the patient if he wanted the music on and he said “yes”.  Those were the last words the patient spoke as his vital signs started to drop immediately after that.  He passed about 15 minutes later. So touching the power of music!”  

~ Barbara Jones / Licensed Vocational Nurse