“Music and Memory” was founded by Dan Cohan when he asked himself, “‘if I’m ever in a nursing home, would I be able to have my favorite 60s music?” In response to this question, Cohan did a search of nursing homes that use iPods and his search came up empty.
Research suggests that music can help relieve stress and reduce agitation in the elderly and even Alzheimer’s patients. With this in mind, Cohan began brining iPods to nursing homes and discovered it was a huge hit. With funding from the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation, Cohen was able to expand his idea into a full-fledged program in 2008 by purchasing 200 iPods and distributing them to four nursing homes throughout New York.
At first, there was hesitation that the use of iPods in a nursing home setting would lead to further isolation among patients. However, this was found to be quite the opposite. Patients were engaging in more conversations and interacting with one another by sharing music and talking about what the music reminded them of. To date, the “Music and Memory” program has expanded to 341 nursing homes. Cohan’s ultimate goal is to expand the program and bring iPods to as many nursing home residents as possible.
For more information or to donate to this cause, visit: http://musicandmemory.org