East Texas rehab facilities use music to spark memories - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

East Texas rehab facilities use music to spark memories

Mallory Marsh plays music from an Ipod for 'South Place' resident with Alzheimer's, Alice Cook, hoping to spark a memory. Mallory Marsh plays music from an Ipod for 'South Place' resident with Alzheimer's, Alice Cook, hoping to spark a memory.
ATHENS, TX (KLTV) -

An organization in East Texas hopes to help patients with memory problems have a better quality of life. 

Mallory Marsh is a wellness assistant at the South Place Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing center in Athens, Texas. Recently, she learned something new about one of their residents who has Alzheimer’s.

“I never knew she was married,” said Marsh.

Marsh discovered this after she played a familiar song for Mrs. Cook and it sparked a memory.

“She recalled that, that was something her and her husband used to dance to,” said Marsh.

Mrs. Cook is a participant in the Music and Memory organizations program, and Marsh is a certified employee of the organization. The purpose of the organization is to help trigger memories and improve the quality of life of those living with Alzheimer’s and dementia through music. South Place along with numerous other rehab facilities in East Texas are putting the method into practice.

“It allows them to tap deep into their emotional memories and bring back specific things that they can remember in the present,” said Marsh. “You will see movement such as tapping your feet to the beat, they will start to dance with their shoulders, and they’ll even recall lyrics to part of a song.”

Since Music and Memory is a pilot organization, ‘South Place’ has been given a limited number of supplies. They are collecting donations of iPods, chargers, and over the ear headphones in order to help more residents.

“Instead of taking turns we will be able to offer each resident their individual playlist at anytime," said Marsh.

People can bring their donations to South Place in Athens or Lifetime Wellness in Tyler.

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