No one wants to end up alone and isolated in a nursing home. It’s hard enough to lose someone you love to Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. It’s terrifying to think you could end up there yourself, someday. But there’s reason to hope for a better life as we age.
Break for Music wants to help an organisation called Music & Memory. They helps elders in care facilities suffering from a wide range of cognitive and physical challenges find renewed meaning and connection in their lives through the gift of personalized music.
Beloved Music Can Renew Lives Lost to Dementia
Their approach is simple, elegant and effective: They train elder care professionals how to set up personalized music playlists, delivered on iPods and other digital devices, for those in their care. These musical favorites tap deep memories not lost to dementia and can bring residents and clients back to life, enabling them to feel like themselves again, to converse, socialize and stay present.
Meet Henry, who suffered from dementia for a decade and barely said a word to anyone—until Music & Memory set up an iPod program at his nursing home:
Henry’s remarkable re-awakening is not unique. The ongoing research and evaluation of Music & Memory’s work in elder care facilities shows consistent results:
- Residents are happier and more social.
- Relationships among staff, residents and family deepen.
- Everyone benefits from a calmer, more supportive social environment.
- Staff regain valuable time previously lost to behavior management issues.
- There is growing evidence that a personalized music program gives professionals one more tool in their effort to reduce reliance on anti-psychotic medications.
More information? Read the Effectiveness Survey Results (pdf)
Ways to help
- Donate your (used) Ipod Today directly to the Music & Memory foundation! They’ll wipe clean your iPod of your personal content, restore it to factory settings and place it in the hands of someone who needs it most at one of the Certified Music & Memory Care Facilities—loaded with their favorite music.
- Maybe you already know someone in a local nursing home, you would like to help. The Music & Memory Foundation made a How to Create a Personalized Playlist for Your Loved One at Home (pdf).
- Break For Music also collects Ipods and mp3-players for local nursing homes. We’re based in The Netherlands (Europe). Please contact us if you need more information.