By Tara Cugelman-McMahon / Posted on October 30th, 2014
The film Alive Inside, which documents “music’s capacity to reawaken our souls and uncover the deepest parts of our humanity,” is now available on Netflix. It is a touching documentary that “follows social worker Dan Cohen, founder of the nonprofit organization Music & Memory, as he fights against a broken healthcare system to demonstrate music’s ability to combat memory loss and restore a deep sense of self to those suffering from it.” Alive Inside was featured on Dr. Bill Thomas’ Second Wind Tour, which also included guest presenters, Susan Frazier and David Farrell of THE GREEN HOUSE® Project.
Alive Inside inspired the Music and Memory Program. 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.” Their purpose is to “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.” The results are stunning and powerful.
The Wisconsin Music and Memory Program is a state-wide program “designed to bring personalized music to individuals diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and other related dementias.” So far, 100 nursing homes have been certified as MUSIC & MEMORY℠ facilities, funded through the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. The Green House home, Lutheran Homes of Oshkosh, was accepted to become a certified MUSIC & MEMORY℠ facility. This program requires “nursing home staff to attend a series of three 90-minute webinars, taught by MUSIC & MEMORY℠ founding Executive Director, Dan Cohen, MSW.”
The Music and Memory Program is changing the way people with dementia are cared for, by unlocking words, memories and thoughts that can’t always be accessed in an institutional setting. Here at the GREEN HOUSE® Project, we are excited about the change in care that this program can bring, and we look forward to seeing MUSIC & MEMORY℠ in every state.