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GSSWGraduate School of Social Work

GSSW Grad Using Music to Improve Dementia Patients' Cognitive Skills

July 31, 2015

GSSW graduate Andrew Steward (MSW '14) is making a positive difference for memory-impaired residents of the Clermont Park Retirement Community through an innovative program called "Music and Memory," according to an interview with Steward that aired last night on Denver's 9News KUSA-TV. The national program, developed by a social worker, helps facilitate communication with dementia patients by having them listen to music of their choice for several hours each day. Clermont Park is one of 15 certified providers of the Music and Memory program in Colorado.

Samuel “Barry” Lauder (MSW '15) researched the program's outcomes during a concentration year internship he completed under Steward's supervision. The internship was one of several Lauder experienced on a rotational basis while enrolled in GSSW's PROGRESS gerontology program.

Lauder found statistically significant improvement in cognition among the 16 Music and Memory participants during the time he tracked their progress. Because of its success at Clermont Park, the program will be replicated at several of their sister retirement communities in the Denver metropolitan area.

Watch a video of the 9News interview.