Cindy’s Promise Welcomes Music and Memory

Cindy’s Promise, a rising geriatric care company in Denton and Keller, is entering its sixth year with a bang. In late October Cindy’s Promise will be obtaining the Music and Memory certification for next year that will doubly improve their clients’ lives by integrating music therapy into its daily services, according to Katrina McPherson, liaison for Cindy’s Promise.

Cindy’s Promise will be one of the first senior care organizations in Denton to receive this certification.

Music and Memory is a non-profit organization that specializes in caring for the elderly who have various forms of dementia. They have been able to train caregivers to construct and use personalized playlists to give verbal communication back to clients who were rarely vocal. Music and Memory has implemented their therapeutic process in nursing homes across the country.

“With someone who is not communicative at all, I’ll go in there and play some music and they’ll start singing,” McPherson said. “It changes their whole mood.”

The playlists consist of clients’ favorite music that can stimulate a wide range of emotions. Personalized music helps the clients recover memories as well as encourage them to communicate more so than they would have without the music.

Mary Blankenship, a caregiver with Cindy’s Promise for four years, is happy that the training will be easy and help clients even more through the power of music.

“I don’t think it will be that difficult,” Blankenship said. “It would be great for [the clients].”

McPherson is just glad that her clients will be safer and exhibit fewer behavioral problems. She believes the right song can help a client both mentally and physically.

“Music reduces agitation and memories start flowing better. It reduces falls in nursing homes and the use of medication,” McPherson said.

Beth Matthews, ESL professor at UNT, moved her mother to a home maintained by Cindy’s Promise and is hopeful this therapy will help ease the progression of her mother’s frontotemporal dementia.

“I don’t think it’s going to cure her but maybe it’ll provide comfort for her,” Matthews said.

Cindy’s Promise is not your run of the mill residential care home. Cindy Johnson, the owner, rents out houses in nice neighborhoods and shapes them into charming living spaces instead of the impersonal facilities that spring to mind. Matthews knew Cindy’s Promise was the right place for her mother when she took a tour of the house in Denton.

“It felt like it was fitting the need that I exactly needed at the time, which was to have more attention and direct supervision, and much more continuity of caregiving,” Matthews said. “It felt like a family, it felt like a home.”

Matthews’ mother, before committing to Cindy’s Promise, lived in an apartment where she would often close her bedroom door at night for privacy. Because her room was isolated, no one besides her knew what she was up to during the night and that worried Matthews. Now, at Cindy’s Promise she has a bedroom that shares a wall with a caregiver who can track her movements more easily.

“Here she has a baby monitor in her room and Mary can hear that she’s rummaging around and not sleeping. We didn’t know that before,” Matthews said.

For more information about Cindy’s Promise visit their website at http://www.cindyspromise.com or see Music and Memory’s documentary about the healing power of music “Alive Inside” at www.aliveinside.us.

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