TYLER, Texas (KETK) – The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America has given the Alzheimer’s Alliance of Smith County a $6,000 grant to create a music therapy program.

The AFA grant will allow Smith County to hold 50 music therapy sessions. About 25 people can participate in each session, which will be lead by a certified music therapist who will use several songs during the class.

Those who attend the sessions will receive cognitive and social stimulation, which is significant for people who have dementia. Music therapy can also help someone’s mood and reduce stress. It can also call back memories.

“Community-based programs are essential as the prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease continues to grow. It is imperative that families have access to support, education and resources so they can have a higher quality of life,” said Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr., AFA’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “We are proud to support Alzheimer’s Alliance of Smith County in delivering much needed services to families in Smith County affected by dementia.”

The Alzheimer’s Alliance of Smith County had their first music therapy session on May 5, and program organizers said people were excited to participate.

“Music has the ability to reach a part of the soul and brain that nothing else can – which is really magical for a person living with dementia of any type. We are so thankful to AFA for the grant to make music therapy available to those we serve,” said Jamie Huff, Program Director at the Alzheimer’s Alliance of Smith County.

Alzheimer’s Alliance of Smith County provides programs and support for people with dementia and their caregivers and family. They offer caregiver support groups, tracking for patients, counseling, a day respite program, confidential memory screenings and more. The group also partners with other community organizations to help those impacted by Alzheimer’s.

AFA is able to provide vital services, like this grant, as a result of the generosity of individual contributions, sponsorships and fundraising activities. To help support these initiatives or learn more about Alzheimer’s disease and resources available to help families affected by it, visit www.alzfdn.org.