Help Spread the Music: A Fundraiser for Music & Memory

Nursing homes can be incredibly lonely and isolating. And so can Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Living with the combination of the two, all too many long-term care residents retreat into themselves, becoming silent and unresponsive.

But there is some incredible research that is making a difference in nursing home resident’s lives; one tune at a time! Neurological research has proven that music is one of the most powerful ways to bring people back to life and revitalize their joy and connections with the world.

The Power of Personalized Music

Music is an incredible memory cue. Every time we hear certain songs, we’re transported back in time—to that summer of fun in high school or our first date or a song played at our wedding. When that tune starts we can remember every word of a song we haven’t heard since we had pimples!

Even for people with severe dementia, music can tap deep emotional recall. Studies have proven that music can reduce pain, agitation, anxiety, sleeplessness, and depression. But the most compelling benefits in people with dementia can be joy and connection. Familiar music sparks associated those cherished memories, which can “awaken” the person for a time to connect and even converse with loved ones. They may even start singing out loud!

Improving Lives in Long-Term Care

That research is the core principle behind Music & Memory, a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing joy into the lives of people who have cognitive impairments like Alzheimer’s. The organization works with care facilities to create personalized iPod playlists that bring smiles to patients’ faces.

You might have seen the April 2012 documentary about this work, called Alive Inside: The Story of Music and Memory. One of the most powerful moments was this video clip of Henry:

How We All Can Help

Caring for my own aging relatives has made a special place in my heart for seniors in long-term care facilities. So my firm is hosting a fundraising drive for Music & Memory. Whether you donate a gently used iPod or funds for new iPods and songs, it will all go directly to certified Music & Memory care facilities whose staff are trained to create personalized music Alzheimer’s patients will enjoy.

Click here to learn more about donating. Thank you for your support!

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