Founded in 2010 by Dan Cohen, the MUSIC & MEMORYSM Certification Program is all about bringing joy into the lives of people suffering from Alzheimer’s, other forms of dementia, and cognitive and physical impairments. More recently they now serve individuals in hospice care, adult day care, assisted living, hospital and home health care.
Friends of Hospice, understanding fully that music is medicine for the soul, joined the MUSIC & MEMORYSM program, offering this personalized music service to individuals in hospice care and those at the end of life.
Reconnecting at a Deeper Level
Research shows that personalized music playlists, delivered using iPods, have the capacity to transform quality of life for individuals struggling with a wide range of physical and cognitive impairments.
- Individuals are calmer.
- Individuals look forward to listening to their iPods.
- Family and caregivers are able to connect in a more meaningful way with their loved ones around music and memories.
Witnessing the Gift of Music
The Threshold Choir of the Palouse (TCP) has had the honor of singing at the chairside of a lovely gentleman living with the challenges of Alzheimer’s disease. The transformative effects of music have never been so beautifully illuminated then when singing with this dear man.
“Unfortunately, as a society, we view persons with advance dementia as no longer being able to experience pleasure. Music obliterates that misconception.” – Dan Cohen
During the choir’s first visit, there was little response from him, other than an expression of gratitude & enjoyment over hearing music that was familiar to him. Over the next few visits, it became increasingly apparent that the songs we were singing were touching deeper places. He became more animated through hand gestures of conducting the choir, mouthing the lyrics and grateful clapping. The words to these tunes were stored in his memory and beloved to him.
Sharing the universal language of music with this lovely man, has clearly demonstrated the joy it can bring to our lives. Yes, we have had the privilege of seeing the healing power of music up close.
“We must use the tools at our disposal, such as music, to help us keep in touch with those we care about and for.” – Dan Cohen
How Friends Can Help
Meeting with the individual and their family, a personalized playlist is developed and downloaded onto an iPod by a certified Friends Music & Memory volunteer. The individual can then enjoy hours of cherished music, bringing joy, wonderful memories, and meaningful interaction.
How You Can Help
- Donate an iPod Shuffle – new or used.
- Provide iTunes cards to purchase music.
- Dust off and donate old music CDs you no longer use.
- Become a Music & MemorySM volunteer.
- Contribute to the Music & MemorySM program through Friends of Hospice.
To Learn More About Music & MemorySM, please contact:
Friends of Hospice
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Quotes from July/Aug 2015 AARP BulletinPrint this page.