Music and Dementia


When people get to know me one of the things that I am normally asked is about my journey from being a music major in college to owning a Home Care business.  It’s definitely not the traditional pathway that most of my fellow music majors or ComForCare owners have followed, but it has served me well.

As I look back over my journey I can see how God has been preparing me in an unconventional way to work with the senior population that I now take care of.  In college I did well enough as a music major to keep my scholarships, but I was never going to shine like some of my fellow classmates; Jamie Barton (Grammy Nominee, Winner of the 2015 Richard Tucker Award & 2013 Cardiff Singer of the World, or Cliff Duren (6+ time Dove Award Nominee), or EJ Day (Season 1 Finalist on American Idol).  My main outlet for singing now other than at church is with seniors both in their homes as well as in facilities like assisted livings and rehabs – and I love it.

Several years back ComForCare introduced a program called Joyful Memories.  Basically it is a way to use music as a reminiscence tool for seniors dealing with dementia.  Develop custom playlists based on songs from our clients childhood and youth that have been specifically arranged and recorded to target an audience with dementia.  What research has shown is that our ability to remember music is one of the last areas of memory to be affected by these terrible diseases.  In addition, music can be used to alter bad moods and behaviors in many cases better than using drugs.

Dr. Deborah Bier is on the corporate staff of ComForCare and has developed a terrific program called DementiaWise.  Our DementiaWise program involves specialized training for our caregivers in how to care for specifically for clients with Dementia, as well as newly expanded educational offerings for families and professional who care for clients with Dementia.

In the video below Dr. Bier goes into more depth about the relationship of Music and Dementia.

Mary Harrell – ComForCare Home Care

13063167_941252979327914_8996374592015657672_oMary Harrell, Director of Care for ComForCare Home Care of Northwest Georgia was our guest today on Growing Gray in Georgia.  We discussed the role that Non-medical Home Care can play in allowing someone to age in place, or in other words say in their home rather than having to move to a nursing home or assisted living facility.

If you would have any questions for Mary she can be reached at (706) 622-3065 or on the web at

Welcome to Growing Gray in GA

Welcome to Growing Gray in Georgia.  I’m glad you found my new podcast website.  Having worked with seniors really since graduating from college 14 years ago (oh my I’m getting old) I have learned that there is a vast amount of resources available to folks so that they can continue to maintain their independence in their home.  Unfortunately may seniors and their families don’t know what options are available.

That’s where Growing Gray in Georgia will hopefully help.  Our mission is to interview key players in the senior care service industry so they can share with our listeners and readers about the ways their companies’ can be of benefit to seniors and their families.

A promise I will strive to keep is to be very particular about whom I allow to be on this show.  In my business we say that we wouldn’t send a caregiver into you or your loved one’s home if we would not feel comfortable sending them into our own parents or grandparents home.  In much the same way I am only going to feature service providers that I would trust to provide care to my own family.

Now that I have shared my plans for what I hope this Growing Gray in Georgia podcast and blog might become its time to make an ask of you my listeners and readers.  If you find any of the information that we post beneficial please share it with your friends and family.  The success of Growing Gray in Georgia is going to be dependent on how large we can grow our audience.  Please like our posts, share our posts, tweet our posts, Instagram our posts, whatever the next platform might be, etc.

And as we sign off our podcasts, Happy Trails to you til We Meet Again.

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