By Fredrick Kunkle | Washington Post
As rock-and-roll fills a sunny recreation room at Birmingham Green in Manassas, residents of the assisted-living facility seem swept up in the music as if by a powerful wind.
Brett Sigmundsson, 52, belts out the lyrics of a Beatles tune while dancing in place with all the vigor of a middle-aged Mick Jagger. John Archer, 64, rises to his feet in dance. Up front, Norma Felter, 85, a former department store clerk whose eyes are glued to a TV screen showing the lyrics for “Hey Jude,” sings into a microphone, not always in sync with the words but joyfully all the same. Even those whose thoughts appear far away sometimes sway or tap their fingers in time to the beat.
The karaoke session is a popular draw at the facility. But music, art and dance sessions like these are also the subject of intensifying interest among the scientific community.
As the nation’s median age rises and baby boomers retire, the federal government, universities and health-care institutions are seeking to determine whether the arts have a quantifiably therapeutic effect on people with Alzheimer’s disease or other age-related disabilities. Read full article in the Washington Post>>