The Power of Music
When Patricia "Patti" Druliner hears classical music, it takes her back to her piano-playing days. Even in the late stages of dementia, when verbal communication becomes difficult, the power of music endures.
Music has always been a significant part of Patti's life. She started playing piano at a young age, eventually becoming a skilled piano teacher. This role accompanied her for most of her life until dementia symptoms kept her from continuing. When Patti moved to Citizens Care and Rehabilitation Center of Frederick, her sister Vicki Davies brought a Bluetooth speaker to play music from some of Patti's favorite composers. On the first day, Patti perked up, making hand movements and sounds along with the music. "Every time she listens to music, she transcends," said Vicki. "She goes back into her experience of playing it."
When Hospice staff learned about Patti's musical background, they arranged for a volunteer to come and play the piano at Citizens. Positioned directly next to the piano, Patti soaks in every beautiful note. For Patti and many others, the language of music surpasses the boundaries of dementia, fostering moments of joy. Studies have shown that music can reduce stress, improve behavior and unlock treasured memories. It is a wonderful way for individuals to connect and express themselves. Since Patti's sisters began playing music for her, Vicki says that Patti is more lucid, has improved comprehension and is able to communicate more clearly.
"Music is a doorway into places that are locked," said Vicki. "It's the best tool for refreshing a person who's losing their faculties, and for reviving that sense of memory.