Bucks County-based Dementia Society of America is recognizing Musical Health Technologies (MHT) and its technology platform, SingFit, as a recipient of its Dementia SMART Award.
The Dementia SMART Award – which stands for Simple, Meaningful, Accessible, Respectful and Trusted – recognizes excellence in programs that help transform the health and lives of people living with dementia and their caregivers.
In 120 years, pharmaceuticals have failed to create a drug that prevents, cures, or even manages this devastating condition. According to the World Health Organization, when all forms of dementia are combined, they are globally thought to be the third leading cause of death, behind heart disease and stroke in high-income countries.
Groundbreaking studies out of multiple research institutions, including Harvard Medical School and Tufts University, as well as a new initiative between the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the Kennedy Center, Sound Health, underline how medical communities are taking music’s ability to transform health very seriously.
“Our SingFit PRIME program is in use at more than 450 senior-living communities across 35 states. We’ve trained over 1,400 in-house staff members, most with no previous musical experience, to facilitate consistent, quality musical interventions,” said MHT CEO Rachel Francine.
“SingFit PRIME customers find that using SingFit with their clients three to 14 times a week results in a mood elevation of 42 percent with a 40 percent decrease in as-needed anti-anxiety medications. For people with dementia, we also see decreases in the behaviors associated with the disease, including agitation, wandering and social isolation.”
Speaking about the reason SingFit was selected for the award, Kevin Jameson, volunteer president of the Dementia Society of America, said, “We think it is especially important to draw attention to the game-changing way SingFit is using technology to vastly increase access to quality musical care, which all the experts are now telling us is so important to many conditions, including dementia.
“In addition, with the looming caregiver crisis (630,000 home-care jobs will need to be filled over the next decade), SingFit’s ability to improve the health and lives of people living with dementia, as well as their caregivers, truly impressed us.”
With more than four years of supporting those living with dementia and their caregivers, Musical Health Technologies has broken barriers in keeping costs low and benefits high. MHT’s new program on the horizon, SingFit STUDIO, will focus on one-to-one home-care solutions, as opposed to group interventions, and will have modules that focus not only on dementia but also on chronic breathing disorders and other intractable and expensive health-care conditions.