Music and Memory: Improving Quality of Life and Quality of Care Through Music

Many LeadingAge California members may already be aware of the Music and Memory program; indeed, there are over 18 members who are certified for this 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.

The organization trains nursing home staff and other elder care professionals, as well as family caregivers, on 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.

By providing access and education, and by creating a network of MUSIC & MEMORY℠ Certified elder care facilities, the organization aims to make this form of personalized therapeutic music a standard of care throughout the health care industry.

There are two ways in which a community can become a certified MUSIC & Memory Certified facility:

Sign up directly with MUSIC & Memory. The cost of the program depends on the number of residents in your community. This option provides:

Three 90-minute training webinars for staff; and

A starter kit of iPods, Nanos, headphones, adapters and an iTunes gift card (only for non-profits who pay for the training).

Participate in a grant project designed to certify up to 300 skilled nursing communities in California.

This project is paid for by CMS/CDPH civil monetary penalties, and provides the training for staff, and a starter kit – all free of charge. The communities will be required to be a part of a research project to measure the effectiveness of implementing the MUSIC & MEMORY program (conducted by the University of California, Davis). Sign-ups for this project will be on a “rolling” basis for the next two years. To explore this option, members can connect by visiting this website.

To learn more about the profound impact that music programs can have for residents, we recommend that you view an award-winning movie about using music to reach residents – Alive Inside – also available on Netflix.