In honor of November being National Alzheimers Disease Awareness Month we thought it would only be fitting to spotlight a non-profit organization called MUSIC & MEMORY , that takes an unorthodox approach to help some of the 5.4 million people stricken with this incurable disease.
In 1983 President Ronald Reagan (an Alzheimer\’s sufferer himself) designated November as National Alzheimers Disease Awareness Month . At the time, fewer than 2 million Americans had Alzheimers; today, the number of people with the disease has soared to nearly 5.4 million
What Is Alzheimer\’s Disease?
Alzheimer\’s is a disease that robs people of their memory. At first, people have a hard time remembering recent events, though they might easily recall things that happened years ago.
As time goes on, other symptoms can appear, including:
- Trouble focusing
- A hard time doing ordinary activities
- Feeling confused or frustrated, especially at night
- Dramatic mood swings — outbursts of anger, anxiety, and depression
- Feeling disoriented and getting lost easily
- Physical problems, such as an odd walk or poor coordination
- Trouble communicating
MUSIC & MEMORY is a non-profit organization that brings personalized music into the lives of the elderly or infirm through digital music technology, vastly improving quality of life by train nursing home staff and other elder care professionals, as well as family caregivers, how to create and provide personalized playlists using iPods and related digital audio systems that enable those struggling with Alzheimer’s, dementia and other cognitive and physical challenges to reconnect with the world through music-triggered memories.
Why It Works
- How the brain ties music to memory
- How personalized therapeutic music enables the listener to reconnect, regain social skills and live more fully
Therapeutic Benefits of Personalized Music
- Finally, a way to give pleasure to persons with advanced dementia
- Offers an enjoyable, fulfilling activity for persons in dialysis, on vent or bed-bound
- Increases cooperation and attention, reduces resistance to care—a real boost for staff morale
- Reduces agitation and sundowning
- Enhances engagement and socialization, fostering a calmer social environment
- Provides a valuable tool for the effort to reduce reliance on anti-psychotic medications
Music has proven to be an incredible tool to combat the degenerative effects of Alzheimer\’s. If you\’re not convinced, watch this video of Henry (from the Sundance Award winging documentary, Alive Inside) an Alzheimer\’s sufferer:
Visit Music & Memory to see how you can help