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Music & Memory: The Power of Personalized Playlists

Capitol Lakes Independent Living Resident, Chie Craig, spends a lot of time on Ivy - the memory care support unit in Capitol Lakes' Assisted Living - visiting her husband, Darryl. Prior to moving to Ivy, Chie was Darryl's primary caregiver and it was during these years that she first became an advocate for expanding Music & Memory at Capitol Lakes.

"The concept of Music and Memory is to create a playlist of songs that is meaningful to the person suffering from dementia," says Craig. "This music decreases anxiety and can increase socialization and engagement. There are reams of scientific research to support the positive impact of music for those suffering with dementia, but I've seen it first hand with my husband and other residents on Ivy."

Creating playlists that are meaningful to individual residents is a time consuming process that involves interviews with both the resident and their family. It also often involves trial and error - playing various types of music to see what elicits the best response. Chie volunteers her time to create these playlists one Ivy resident at a time.

"Chie's work to bring music to Ivy residents is inspiring," says Capitol Lakes Foundation Director Lenee Kruse. "So when she approached the Foundation to purchase equipment so residents could hear the playlists she creates it was an easy decision to approve her funding request."

At Chie's request the Foundation purchased several Simpl Music Players. These devices are made specifically for those suffering with dementia. They are easy to use - you only need to lift the lever to hear the music or push it down to stop. These players also make it easy for caregivers to utilize music as an intervention strategy for residents experiencing anxiety or other behaviors. And thanks to your generosity, the Foundation was also able to purchase almost 200 minutes of music.

Your Capitol Lakes Foundation is proud to support Chie's work and advocacy for Music and Memory. Thanks to Chie and your support, we are enhancing the living experience for Assisted Living and memory care residents.

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