A New Kind of Music Therapy Helps Alzheimers Patients
There’s exciting new research about the link between music and memory. A documentary called “Alive Inside”tells the story of social worker Dan Cohen’s efforts with a new kind of music therapy: personalized music playlists for the elderly. After listening to an iPod loaded with music from his youth, an Alzheimer’s patient named Henry becomes alert and articulate.
Patients like Henry have convinced experts like Dan Cohen that music can unlock memories – and improve neurologic function. Cohen’s organization, Music and Memory, is working with companies, individuals and other non-profits to deliver personalized music playlists to the elderly. NPR and the Huffington Post covered their work and we anticipate a lot more press on this topic.
Know someone who might benefit from a little music therapy – in the form of a personalized music playlist? The Institute for Music and Neurologic Function (IMNF) recommends choosing songs from a specific era – when your loved one was 18-25 years of age. Check out their recommendations here.
We’re not surprised that music has a healing effect. Most VoiceQuilts include songs uploaded by VoiceQuilt gift givers who have added music in a number of creative ways. We know that voices, music and other audio trigger strong emotional reactions. It’s comforting to see that experts in aging are beginning to observe – and hear – the same thing.
P.S. Alzheimer’s can be devastating. Please help VoiceQuilt give back by listening to these Father’s Day Messages and voting for your favorite. For each vote, we’ll give $1 to the Alzheimer’s Association. And, as a bonus, you’ll be entered to win a steak dinner for you family.