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Music and Memory

MUSIC & MEMORY℠ is a non-profit organization that brings personalized music into the lives of the elderly or infirm using iPods, vastly improving quality of life. They train 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.

As we all know from hearing that song associated with a first love or leaving home for good, music is profoundly linked to personal memories. In fact, our brains are hard-wired to connect music with long-term memory. Even for persons with severe dementia, music can tap deep emotional recall. For individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s, memory for things—names, places, facts—is compromised, but memories from our teenage years can be well-preserved. Favorite music or songs associated with important personal events can trigger memory of lyrics and the experience connected to the music. Beloved music often calms chaotic brain activity and enables the listener to focus on the present moment and regain a connection to others.

We at James L. West are bringing MUSIC & MEMORY℠ to our residents.  Each of our residents who wish to participate will have their own iPod and earphones, personalized with the music they enjoy most.  The attached questionnaire will help us to begin the process of developing a specific playlist for your family member.  We have included notable artists from different eras to help you when you are thinking about the type of music your family has enjoyed throughout the years. 

We would like to encourage you to visit if possible with your loved one living with us, as well as with your family members to identify artists and specific songs that might bring joy and forgotten memories to your loved one.  We would be glad to visit with you personally about this program if you have more questions.  The primary contact for the Center is Bailie Hillman

Please return this questionnaire to the front desk. We welcome your feedback regarding this new program and hope that it brings great joy and comfort to all of our residents.

Cheryl Harding
Chief Executive Officer