Music has remarkable power. It can conjure up memories from the past, transport us to another place, and make us feel incredible joy or profound sadness.
Music & Memory is a program that helps seniors in care facilities suffering with Alzheimer’s and dementia find renewed meaning and connection in their lives through the gift of personalized music. The program trains senior care professionals how to set up personalized music playlists, delivered on iPods and other digital devices, for those in their care. Musical favourites can bypass failing cognitive systems to tap deep memories and bring seniors back to life, often enabling them to converse, socialize, and stay present.
More than 400 nursing homes, hospices, and hospitals in the U.S. are actively using the program. All have had some success!
Click here to see how music re-awakened Henry, a senior suffering from dementia and who barely said a word for a decade.
A new documentary called “Alive Inside” explores how music is awakening deeply-locked memories in the lives of some older Americans to bridge past and present. Katie Couric recently profiled the program and documentary on her talk show. The documentary will show in only a couple of Canadian cities:
- Aug. 1, 2014 in Toronto—Hot Docs Bloor Cinema
- Aug. 15, 2014 in Vancouver—Vancity Theater
- Sept. 25-Oct. 10, 2014 in Vancouver—Vancouver International Film Festival
I am hopeful, however, that it will be more widely accessible in Canada or online one day soon. In the meantime, you can watch the trailer here.