The article explores the health benefits seniors suffering from Alzheimer's and dementia can experience through music therapy. It focuses on the touching story of Claire Minutella, an Alzheimer's patient and resident of an assisted-living community in Havertown, Pennsylvania.
When Claire is taken on a group field trip to the Mummer's Museum in Philadelphia, her childhood home, the music she hears awakens long-buried memories and brings her right back to her teenage years, when she used to dance to the Mummer's Band that would play their instruments all the way down Philadelphia's main street.
Claire's joyful response to the music astounded the care workers who went on the field trip.
"Claire was transformed into her youth," Activities Director Jules Dewey says in the article. "Something connected with her; it made her that profoundly happy. Everybody was happy! To me, it was very special to see Claire this way. She knew this was her neighborhood. We all knew that. She turned back into a teenager before our very eyes."
Dewey says that watching Claire experience such joy was an incredibly rewarding experience.
It’s like getting paid a second paycheck," she says. "It made me feel like this is what we were supposed to be doing. THIS is why we’re here. This is how we can make a difference in the lives of our residents.”
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