- Written by Megan Joyce Megan Joyce
Like most seasonal choral groups, rehearsals for the Sing for the Moment choir held at the Rife Center at Bethany Village are well underway.
This eight-week choral program, however, is designed specifically for those with memory loss.
Alzheimer’s and dementia sufferers in the early to middle stages of memory loss—along with their caregivers—gather weekly to enjoy music and socialize, according to Olivia Maturano, constituent services coordinator at the Alzheimer’s Association Greater Pennsylvania Chapter in Harrisburg.
“The choir’s main focus is social interaction, but participants will also benefit from the wellness aspects of singing, such as reduced stress and improved mood,” Maturano said.
Music has become a well-received stimulus for people with memory loss or cognitive impairment.
“Music is stored in many areas of the brain and is a basic part of what makes us human,” Maturano said. “The Sing for the Moment choir aims to choose music which resonates with our participants, particularly with singing songs from a person’s younger years.
“This is helpful because with Alzheimer’s disease, the longer-term memories are what stay intact for the longest amount of time.”
Using music associated with personal memories helps reach and engage the person with dementia even as memory fails, Maturano said.
Personalized music can also help decrease difficult behaviors and assist the person with dementia in communicating and connecting with loved ones.
The Sing for the Moment choir, which is made possible through the Mechanicsburg Foundation, will perform its concert Sunday, Nov. 17.
For more information, call Maturano at (717) 651-5020, ext. 2123, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.