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As Director of the Betty Ehart Senior Center and as a music therapist, Pauline Schneider sees both the difficulties dementia sufferers and their caregivers face daily and also how music and the arts can help people connect and enjoy the arts’ effects.
“I have worked with people in all phases of dementia and even those who seem to have stopped relating to the world around them, remarkably respond to music. One person, who hadn’t spoken for quite some time, began to sing along with a familiar tune from decades ago and knew all the words, stayed on key and stayed focused until it was over,” Schneider said.
She invited Mary Yamada of the Los Alamos Retirement Community, who has worked with people with dementia for 15 years and Carol Meine of Mesa Public Library arts programming, to get together and create a pilot program for people with dementia and their caregivers to meet in a non-clinical setting to enjoy the arts together.
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