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When Music Therapist John Abel first met Roberta, shortly after he joined the staff of A.G. Another resident who trained as a classical pianist would attend the music therapy groups occasionally, but missed hearing Bach and Chopin. Karen says the opera lover’s son is a big proponent of the program and gives his mother her playlist to help her manage dementia and hallucinations. John adds that staff have found the personalized music to be a great assist with other residents who are confused and agitated. Founded in 2010, MUSIC & MEMORY? is a non-profit organization that brings personalized music into the lives of people with cognitive or physical challenges through digital music technology, vastly improving quality of life.
In the southeast corner of Washington State, amidst undulating hills of wheat fields on the Palouse, the City of Pullman, population 31,000, is bringing MUSIC & MEMORY? to a new level of holistic care. Across the continuum, care professionals and volunteers are collaborating to enable individuals to benefit from personalized music. This regional, integrated approach to personalized music, called MUSIC & MEMORY? on the Palouse, has gained traction due, in large part, to the efforts of volunteer dynamo Ginny Hauser. When Ginny retired from her counseling center work at Washington State University in 2013, she was looking for some meaningful volunteer opportunities. One evening, after the class had completed a unit on dementia, the group went to see a screening of Alive Inside that was co-sponsored by the hospital. After completing MUSIC & MEMORY? Certification training with Jessica and other hospital volunteers, Ginny began to build an iTunes Library for the hospital with donated CDs. The hospital’s volunteer chaplains are also impressed, and Ginny has met with them to explain how the program works.
A few weeks ago, he says, he called Ginny about Lorraine, a stroke patient who was unable to communicate with anyone, including her husband, who was always by her side. When Lorraine was discharged to Avalon Care Center, the only nursing home in the area, she was able to continue benefiting from her music. In addition to her volunteer work at Pullman Regional and Avalon, Ginny has been instrumental in setting up Music & Memory at Circles of Caring, the local adult day health program, and Friends of Hospice, a home-based service for the county.
Ginny recalls creating a playlist for one individual at Avalon for use during her nursing home stay, who was then released to go home under her husband’s care.
At Friends of Hospice, Director Annie Pillers says this regional hospice service is just getting started with Music & Memory. Jack Carloye enjoys hearing musical favorites with Pullman High senior Peter Schumaker at Circles of Caring. This past summer, she worked with Pullman High senior Peter Schumaker to help her start Music & Memory at Circles of Caring, and also to help out at Avalon. Friends of Hospice’s Annie Pillers suggests that it’s also a matter of coordination that could start at the hospital level, which already has an interdisciplinary team that plans for continuing care, post-hospitalization. Hollie Mooney at Circles of Caring envisions a neighborhood-based network of a hospital, assisted living facility, adult day health, nursing home and hospice, working together on a smaller scale within a larger urban area. And both Hollie and Avalon’s Tarrin Weber emphasize the importance of a champion like Ginny Hauser, who will take ownership of the program, help with training and follow up to maintain the program. Founded in 2010, 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.
So, what actually happens to your donated iPod, once it arrives here at Music & Memory?
Donated Apple music players of all kinds find their way to our PO Box on Long Island via iPod Donation Drives, individual gifts or collections efforts by one of our MUSIC & MEMORY? Certified Care Organizations. Once the iPods arrive, we test them to be sure they still operate properly, clean them and, yes, remove all their content. The next step is to bring the iPods to our Manhattan office, where they are carefully packaged and sent to one of our non-profit MUSIC & MEMORY? Certified Care Organizations that has recently completed training, along with headphones, iTunes music cards, adapters and mini speakers.
At the care setting, the iPods are loaded with personalized playlists and distributed to Music & Memory participants. As more people favor smartphones to play their own music, more iPods can be repurposed for Music & Memory. Can personalized playlists help care organizations to reduce reliance on antipsychotics to manage behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia? Two years ago, Wisconsin’s Department of Health Services (DHS) introduced MUSIC & MEMORY? in 100 nursing homes across the state.
Wisconsin initiated the personalized music program as a non-pharmacological intervention strategy for nursing homes that complements the CMS Partnership effort to reduce use of antipsychotics for residents diagnosed with dementia. Researchers at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, are currently completing a study of whether the reduction can be attributed to Music & Memory.
While definitive research is still underway, Douglas Englebert, DHS’s pharmacy practice consultant, has been encouraged by positive observations from nursing home professionals about the benefits of personalized music as an alternative to antipsychotics. Wisconsin requires written, informed consent for treatment with antipsychotics in nursing homes. For example, Englebert says, someone may be hospitalized for a surgical procedure and put on antipsychotics to manage hallucinations from anesthesia. A clearly defined reason for administering the antipsychotic, as well as agreed-upon measures of success, are essential for proper assessment of drug effectiveness and informed decisions about alternative treatments. Because each individual’s biology and circumstances are unique—and because many factors affect the decision to taper off antipsychotics—Englebert promotes a go-slow approach to dosage reduction.
He’s seen successful results from a variety of protocols, ranging from a 25 percent dosage reduction each week for four weeks (an approach promoted in the UK, which has made antipsychotic reduction for Alzheimer’s patients a high priority) to a 5 percent dosage reduction weekly or 10 percent reduction biweekly.
Dosage reduction plans also depend on the specific medication, how the dose can be manipulated, and basics such as whether the tablet can be cut.
Variation in rate of antipsychotic use across care organizations depends on many factors—nature of the resident population, culture of care, staff attitudes, preferences of attending physicians.
When the six high school students first met last fall in Nancy Van Alstyne’s class, “Music and the Mind,” they were skeptical. This past weekend, the six students were honored at a luncheon at the care facility, where they have spent hours each week helping to refine choices of musical favorites for residents. Those reflections bring tears to Nancy Van Alstyne, who has taught art classes at the private Christian school for 25 years. This past year, following the death of her mother at 96 from complications of Alzheimer’s, Nancy decided to do something different.
Working with MediLodge Social Services and Activities Director Jennifer Williams, Nancy did the preliminary research of identifying residents who would benefit from the program, then narrowed down their favorite performers and genres.
There was the Polka Lady who loved her Polish folk tunes, and the man who loved to hear Elvis singing gospel. Jennifer and Lucy Moberly, a Trenton High honors student, with iPods and iTunes cards that Lucy donated to the Baptist Park School program. Nancy hopes to draw not only on the Baptist Park student body to volunteer for The Longest Day, but also on students from nearby Trenton High School. As she looks back on this year, Nancy often recalls her mother, Millie Barkalow Peterson, in her final days, and the joy she derived from music while in hospice at another area nursing home. But the answers aren’t always obvious and, sometimes, they’re downright hard to get, especially when the person you’re asking has Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia—or if she’s from a foreign country that’s unfamiliar to you, or if he simply has trouble explaining what he’s remembering (“it was a song about black, wavy hair”).
It’s always worth it to ask basic questions like these, because they may open the door to a longer, deeper conversation. With a few basic facts, including age and where the person lived at an earlier point in time, you can find a side door to the person’s musical favorites. Sometimes all you’ll get from your initial questions is a phrase and a general guess of the type of music: “It was something about wavy black hair or waving black hair.
You may be able to find out about favorite hobbies, sports and other pass-times that could suggest a starting point. If the individual speaks a different language, start with family members and friends who may be able to interpret.
Armed with the name of a famous Arab singing artist, Letitia was able to convince the son of an Iraqi dementia patient that she was serious about finding music for his mother. Ultimately, says Letitia, being a successful music detective requires some “intuition and luck.” But, she adds, that’s okay. Virtual memory, also known as the swap file, uses part of your hard drive to effectively expand your RAM, allowing you to run more programs than it could otherwise handle. Some basics: Your PC has storagea€”a hard drive or SSDa€”and memory in the form of RAM chips.
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In the resulting System Properties dialog boxa€™s Advanced tab, click the first Settings buttona€”the one in the Performance box. In the resulting Virtual Memory dialog box, uncheck Automatically manage paging file size for all drives. Windows lets you set up swap files in different drives, although by default only C: has one. The performance problem is lessened considerably if you put the swap file on an SSD rather than a hard drive. Amazon Shop buttons are programmatically attached to all reviews, regardless of products' final review scores.
Freelance journalist (and sometimes humorist) Lincoln Spector has been writing about tech longer than he would care to admit. PCWorld helps you navigate the PC ecosystem to find the products you want and the advice you need to get the job done. There are many exciting things coming down the Oral History Review pipeline, including OHR volume 41, issue 2, the Oral History Association annual meeting, and a new staff member.
If that weren’t enough to whet your academic appetite, the article also went live the same week her first daughter, Zoe, was born.
I began taking history classes my junior year, and through that I started to think about the idea of oral history in a more intentional way. After college, I studied at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies in Portland, Maine, and when I began my doctoral studies at Temple University, I knew that I wanted to pursue research that would allow me to use oral history as one of the primary methodological approaches. I knew that there had to be more to the utopian vision that was so pervasive in public conversations about the neighborhood, and I realized that by contextualizing the community’s efforts within the broader history of racial justice and urban space in the mid-twentieth century, I would be able to look critically about the concept and process of interracial living.
Your article focuses on an 1990s oral history project led by a local organization, the West Mount Airy Neighbors. The 1993 oral history project was a wonderful resource for my book project (from which this article comes); but for my purposes, it was also incomplete. As I alluded to above, it is part of a larger book project on postwar residential integration, Making Good Neighbors: Civil Rights, Liberalism, and Integration in Postwar Philadelphia (Cornell University Press, 2014).
I’ve spent the past 18 months directing an oral history project on Hurricane Sandy, Staring out to Sea, which came about through a collaboration with Oral History in the Mid-Atlantic Region (remember them?) and a seminar I taught in Spring 2013.
In addition to blogging about their experience, the students presented their work at the 2013 OHMAR and OHA meetings.
When Wisconsin’s Department of Health Services (DHS) decided to implement Music & Memory’s personalized music program in 100 long-term care facilities in September 2013, officials were hopeful that the initiative would improve residents’ quality of life. One year later, the evidence is persuasive: Wisconsin has moved from tenth to fourth place among all 50 states in a national effort to reduce use of antipsychotic drugs in nursing homes. According to DHS’s Kevin Coughlin, the 100 nursing homes represent about a quarter of all facilities in Wisconsin. Research, in partnership with the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, is underway to provide a rigorous assessment of program benefits for residents.
Even before the data were published, evidence of the program’s success persuaded DHS Secretary Kitty Rhoades to champion Music & Memory, not only across Wisconsin, but also to her state executive counterparts nationwide. Response to Music & Memory at the facility level has been so enthusiastic that DHS is bringing the program to another 150 long-term care facilities this fall. Following Wisconsin’s lead, Ohio and Utah are launching their own statewide Music & Memory initiatives, and other states are expressing significant interest in bringing personalized music to their long-term care facilities. While the program targets nursing homes, it has had a ripple effect for other long-term care settings in the state. The state’s substantive commitment to making personalized music available to long-term care residents means “it’s being woven into the fabric of best practices,” says Tom Hlavacek, executive director of the Alzheimer Association’s Southeastern Wisconsin chapter. Many factors go into a decision about where to place a loved one in a nursing home—compassionate care, excellent medical support, cleanliness, a supportive social environment and affordability are often top of mind.
But a recent survey indicates that access to personalized music has also become a priority for people seeking appropriate long-term care for a relative or themselves.
Most respondents (83 percent) would favor a nursing home that offered residents iPods with individualize playlists versus a similar nursing home that did not.

Half of respondents would consider moving outside their city to find a nursing home that offered residents iPods, with 8 percent willing to move out of state. More than half of respondents would spend more money on a nursing home that offered residents personalized iPods.
With person-centered care becoming the new gold standard in long-term care, personalized music provides a simple, cost-effective means to enhance residents’ quality of life. The majority of respondents were either “extremely likely” (29 percent) or “very likely” (24 percent) to favor an iPod-integrated nursing home. As personalized music in long-term care becomes more widely available, Executive Director Dan Cohen hopes this therapeutic option will become so accessible that no one would need to travel far to find it.
Perhaps most striking, more than half the respondents indicated they would be willing to pay more for a long-term care facility that offered musical favorites on iPods.
For long-term care administrators weighing the costs and benefits of implementing a personalized music program, the results present persuasive evidence that the program can offer a distinct marketing advantage to attract more residents. These findings are consistent with another trend identified in the survey: The majority of those seeking nursing homes favored programs that keep residents mentally engaged.
In short, as we age, the survey results suggest that ensuring quality care for the mind as well as the body is becoming a much higher priority for long-term care consumers. At hundreds of Alive Inside screenings around the country this summer, we’ve heard from audience members who are inspired to get involved and promote MUSIC & MEMORY? in their home communities. We asked some of our friends in the field to share what has worked at screenings they’ve help to promote.
Letitia Jackson, Vice President of Corporate Engagement for Senior Star in Tulsa, Oklahoma, says venue owners have been key to promoting the screenings. Letitia also connected stakeholder organizations, such as the Tulsa Alzheimer Association chapter, with venue owners to get out the word about screenings. Venue owners served as event MC’s, and also introduced the Q&A session after the screenings. Steve Garwood, a Music & Memory volunteer in California and a 40-year music industry veteran, made calls and sent emails to his network of palliative care and nursing home contacts to invite them to showings in Encino and San Louis Obispo. That effort drew a number of health care professionals who were inspired by the film and shared their reactions with facility management the next day. 3) Prime the audience for a Q&A session, and use ice-breaker comments to open a dialogue. The evidence continues to mount: Musical favorites can bridge the divide between hopeless isolation and joyful social engagement for people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias and cognitive challenges. That adds up to significantly reduced stress for caregivers, who get a boost from seeing their loved ones uplifted by the music, as well as time to recharge. The findings were a welcome surprise for Sabrina McCurbin, iPod project coordinator for AST.
AST’s iPod Project, conducted in collaboration with MUSIC & MEMORY?, is targeted at persons with ADOD living at home and their families, as well as those living in care facilities.
Offered free of charge to persons with a formal diagnosis of dementia who live in Toronto (or if their caregivers reside within the city), the program currently enrolls 1,300.
The caregivers also found that personalized music helped them to accomplish activities of daily living. Powerful as these findings are for home- and community-based care, the report emphasizes that residents in long term care settings may have the greatest potential to benefit from personalized music. For Sabrina McCurbin, the report reinforces AST’s goal to expand the iPod Project and build more links to the Toronto community. It’s the iPods that help bridge the gap of generational distance and fear about Alzheimer’s. Just one of many anecdotes, now bolstered by solid research, for McCurbin, about the value of the iPod Project. Whatever the organizational structure, all share a common experience: Favorite music makes a world of difference for residents, their families and the professionals who care for them. Even for young children, sharing music and helping to identify musical favorites can be a meaningful way to stay connected with a loved one at the end of life. Generating a playlist has become an essential part of resident intake for some hospice programs. Leadership buy-in to Music & Memory is always a crucial aspect of creating a successful program, whatever the care setting. To have music available for residents, especially when they are in their rooms for many hours toward the end of life, has been a great gift. A sophomore at Tuckahoe High School in Eastchester, member of Troop 353 and guitarist with the high school band, Alejandro made a compelling plea before December concerts at both his high school and the local William E. As of March 1, when his donation drive ended, Alejandro had raised $1,300 and collected 38 iPods and 850 CDs of all kinds, including pop, Big Band, classic and alternative rock. Now that he has collected all the donations for Music & Memory, his next step for his Eagle Scout project is to meet with administration of the nursing home he has identified, with help from a parent in his school district who was inspired by his effort. The money Alejandro raised will help pay for the MUSIC & MEMORY? Certification Program for the site, although he will also ask the facility to contribute some to the training, so they have a vested interest in the project.
Although he has until he turns 18 to earn his Eagle Scout rank, Alejandro doesn’t intend to wait that long to complete his Music & Memory project and hopes to finish by the end of the school year. Bent over her wheelchair, eyes closed, Ella would all-too-easily melt into the background of the dining hall at the Orzac Center for Extended Care and Rehabilitation. Chris, who loves “playing guitar, hopping and singing” with residents, brought Ella into her music therapy groups, where the octogenarian became an active participant. It would take, on average, three sessions a week for two to three weeks, 40 to 50 minutes each session, for the residents to realize there was music in the headphones. Chris has also introduced iPods to short term patients, using generic playlists of different popular genres, such as Big Band music or hits from the ‘50s and ’60s. Founded in 2010, 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.
Since learning to use and enjoy her iPod, this woman now resides on a dementia floor with Russian-speaking staff and participates in group and individual programs. Locked in her dementia, seemingly unaware of her surroundings, she would sit and stare at the walls of her nursing home room for hours on end.
Rhodes Health & Rehab in Atlanta two years ago, he thought music could make the difference. A major benefit of the program, he believes, is the fact that she can listen to her music without any distractions.
Rhodes as a volunteer a year ago in April after hearing about an iPod drive, and soon was hired to help implement Music & Memory as the program grew. Rhodes has about 80 residents participating across all three facilities, which range from 130 to 150 beds at each location. Whether an individual needs hospitalization, nursing home support, adult day care, hospice, or some combination, his or her music goes along. Her natural inclination to help others prompted her to train as a patient support volunteer at Pullman Regional Hospital. The 25-bed facility, which includes three operating rooms and 24-hour emergency service, is a critical care access hospital serving the surrounding rural community.
She wrote a grant funded by the Pullman Regional Hospital Auxiliary to buy a laptop, iPods, iTunes credits and other supplies to implement the program.
Among the chaplains, Rod Schwartz has become an enthusiastic proponent of Music & Memory. With Ginny’s help and input from the husband about favorite music—Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, the Great American Playbook and more—they created a playlist and loaded it on an iPod. Ginny serves there, as well, as a Patient Support Volunteer from Pullman Regional Hospital, so she could set up the same playlist for Lorraine on one of the hospital’s iPods that are shared with Avalon residents. Ginny wrote another successful grant proposal, this time funded by the Pullman Rotary, to cover training and a dedicated laptop for the adult day health services center. Not long after, she saw the woman again, this time attending Circles of Caring during the day. In a community where care professionals know and respect each other, creating a continuum of care with personalized playlists has become her mission. Some people have been inspired by viewing Alive Inside; others have heard about us through local or national media. Non-profit care organizations receive a starter kit of audio equipment as part of their training; half of the iPods in each kit are donated, and the other half, purchased.
We ship iPods every month to our newest Certified Care Organizations; you can be sure that your donated iPod will soon be put to good use, bringing joy to individuals via their favorite music. In a second phase in 2014, DHS expanded the program to bring Music & Memory to an additional 150 nursing homes.
In fall 2014, Wisconsin moved from tenth to fourth place among all 50 states in the national initiative to reduce use of antipsychotic drugs in nursing homes. More specifically, they are seeking to determine the precise impact of personalized music as a viable alternative to these medications, which may often cause significant, undesirable side effects for people with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Those anecdotal reports have prompted Englebert to respond to the next set of pressing questions from the field: When is it appropriate to taper residents off their antipsychotics, and what is the best method?
There are no definitive protocols for tapering off antipsychotics offered by pharmaceutical companies or approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
But use of these medications doesn’t always originate when someone moves into a long-term care setting. But unless a physician writes a stop order post-discharge, a medication that was only intended for use over two or three weeks may still be part of the individual’s regimen six months later.
For any dosage tapering protocol, it’s also very important to be able to distinguish among side effects, withdrawal symptoms and the behaviors that originally triggered use of the drug. Once that person successfully tapers off the antipsychotic, another family may become open.
And, of course, any reduction in antipsychotics depends on the successful adoption of a non-medication alternative, such as personalized music playlists. The goal of the yearlong course at Baptist Park School was to help create personalized playlists for residents of nearby MediLodge of Taylor, Michigan, a skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility.
Learning of MUSIC & MEMORY? from friends after posting videos of her mother enjoying music on Facebook, she offered to volunteer at MediLodge and the school, in her mother’s memory, to bring personalized playlists to the residents. The students would then sit with one of the residents, using a splitter so all could hear, play different selections from a given artist, and note the resident’s reactions to see which song got the strongest positive response. Others favored Johnny Cash, Motown (not surprising, given that Taylor is just 15 miles south of Detroit), Frank Sinatra, the Lennon Sisters and the Andrews Sisters, Duke Ellington and the Norman Luboff Choir. In June, participating in The Longest Day—a 16-hour marathon fundraising event for the Alzheimer’s Association—Joshua plans to train other students how to do what his class has learned. She has a good connection: an honors student from Trenton High, Lucy Moberly, did a service project to help the Baptist Park Music and Mind class by collecting iTunes cards and used iPods.
Sophomore Ruth Doty summed it up this way: “By helping all these different residents it is cool to see the diversity between them by the music they connect to. But don’t be discouraged if you don’t get very far, since these questions are quite direct. It was an old country singer from when I was young.” If the individual is in his 90s, you can make an educated guess that he might be thinking of music from the ’40s. If the person in your care can’t communicate or struggles with memory, your best bet is to find out as much as you can from other sources about the individual’s background. Then, working through a staff interpreter, with the son’s help, she asked the mother if she preferred music with instruments, or with words and singing. Some of the code and data in RAM goes to the swap file, making room to load something else.
But therea€™s a problem: SSDs wear out with too much writing, so putting a swap file on one might shorten its life. You can do this in the Virtual Memory dialog box by selecting the drive ita€™s on, clicking No paging file, then clicking Set. You might try it, and then turn virtual memory back on after you find the lack of it too restrictive. Our parent company, IDG, receives advertisement revenue for shopping activity generated by the links.
Earlier this month I chatted with Abigail about the article and the many other projects she has had in the works this year. I took classes in ethnography, worked as a PA on a few documentary projects, and interned at a documentary theater company. Interviewers focused largely on the early years of integration, so I wasn’t able to get much of a sense of the historical evolution of the efforts.
There, I look at the broader process of integrating and the challenges that emerged as the integration efforts coalesced and evolved over the decades.

That semester, I worked intensively with six undergraduates, studying the practice of oral history and setting up the project’s parameters. It furthers the University's objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide.
The Music & Memory program is one of the alternatives to medications implemented by Wisconsin nursing homes to reduce unnecessary prescribing of antipsychotic drugs to residents. Funding for Music & Memory’s certification program comes from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Civil Monetary Penalties fund, comprised of financial penalties for accreditation shortfalls.
While the first round of 100 nursing homes began the Music & Memory initiative with equipment for 15 residents at each site, more than half of the facilities have now expanded their programs to include more residents. Half those surveyed indicated they would be willing to drive a long distance or even move beyond their city to have access to a long-term care facility offering personalized music—27 percent would be willing to search within their county, 15 percent would look statewide and 8 percent would even be willing to commute or move out of state. Statewide initiatives in Wisconsin, Utah and Ohio to bring MUSIC & MEMORY? into their nursing homes are channeling the iPod-based program into the best practices mainstream. Of the respondents, a total of 84 percent said it was either “extremely,” “very” or “moderately important” to enable older residents to stay mentally agile. Personalized music provides a humane, uplifting and fine-tuned approach to holistic, person-centered care in nursing homes—one well worth pursuing and paying for. Although the round of theatrical releases is now over, in coming months the film will become available for licensed screenings at community venues.
Paul Williams, a team of researchers affiliated with the University of Toronto conducted the report and discovered some additional benefits of personalized music: Caregivers at home, who are often exhausted by their responsibilities for loved ones with ADOD, gain a much needed respite when the ones they care for listen to musical favorites. The program also provides support for staff at MUSIC & MEMORY? Certified Care Facilities in the city. Participants receive an iPod loaded with their musical favorites, chosen with help from family and friends, and a pair of headphones.
Providing the iPod during activities that might otherwise cause agitation, such as meals, traveling on public transportation or during household tasks such as vacuuming, served to calm their loved ones. A comparison of responses on the Caregiver Distress Scale between the beginning and end of the three-month study period uncovered two statistically significant results: Caregivers felt more able to engage socially.
Given the prevalence of advanced Alzheimer’s and other dementias among nursing home residents, there are simply more opportunities to help more people. But the report concludes that “this low cost intervention offers a range of potential benefits with little risk of harm.
Next steps may include engaging additional community partners, such as adult day programs, memory clinics serving those with early stage dementia, and family doctors. Currently, a core group of 10 helps weekly with developing playlists, loading iPods and providing administrative support. One teen volunteer told McCurbin that he brought his grandmother an iPod loaded with her favorite music.
Settings vary from dedicated hospice facilities to hospice services within nursing homes to hospice care in private homes. According to hospice professionals at MUSIC & MEMORY? Certified Care Facilities, speaking on a recent conference call about best practices, kids enjoy sharing the gift of music with their grandparents, especially when they can meet in a private room and listen to songs together. Families have the opportunity to share more personal background about their loved ones’ favorite music and activities as teens. Conference call participants noted positive feedback from caregivers and family members, who appreciate how the personalized playlists bring joy back to their loved ones while also giving the caregivers a much needed daily respite.
Deirdre Downes says her facility was able to get significant funding by sharing stories with board members about how personalized music has benefited residents. Social work student interns shared videos that they had made of residents and stories about how the program was implemented. That approach garnered a five-figure gift from a board member that will enabled the facility to purchase iPods for all residents as well as hire part-time help to set up the program. According to Alejandro, only 4 percent of Boy Scouts earn the rank, which requires demonstration of leadership and organizational skills by completing a service project that helps others. Any money left over from the donation drive will go toward purchase of additional iPods and music.
Legally blind, with dementia, she sat quietly, a solitary figure who rarely, if ever, spoke. The first time Chris tried to play gospel music for her on an iPod, it took 50 minutes for Ella to respond at all. She would sing along to all the music, shake her hand-held rhythm instrument, and even talk to other residents–something she had never done before. Chris says the iPods have helped other residents with dementia to become more engaged, as well, with time and repeated exposure to their musical favorites. Chris has no doubt that listening to favorite gospel music made her final years at the Orzac more humane, meaningful and fulfilling. Struggling with a cognitive impairment and a language barrier, she seemed inconsolable and would only communicate with Russian-speakers one-to-one. Assistant Director Irina Elentukh helped the woman put on headphones and listen to her new personalized playlist. In fact, many long term care facilities that have graduated from Music & Memory’s webinar program report similar turnarounds for residents. John and Karen agree that the program is an essential tool and hope to expand access to even more residents. Inspired, she asked the hospital’s Volunteer Coordinator, Jessica Rivers, whether they could bring personalized music to the hospital. She began to create playlists for patients who were identified by clinicians as individuals who might benefit from the music—in particular, patients with high anxiety, uncontrolled pain, who were lonely or depressed, or who were in the hospital for extended stays. She encouraged them to view Alive Inside on Netflix, to understand the value of personalized music for healing. Circles of Caring serves 30 participants, averaging about 18 people on any given day, who range in age from 29 to 99. Individuals may already be on the drugs when they arrive, to manage behaviors while they still lived at home or in assisted living.
In fact, Englebert says, successful antipsychotic reduction is as much a process of winning the trust of family and staff as it is managing the individual’s physiological and psychological response to the change in medication. In addition, he says, it’s important to consider staffing levels when scheduling a dosage reduction. We want to be sure to build this awareness into the culture of all our facilities, so our success can continue.
Enabling her students to bridge the generational divide and discover the power of personalized music has brought her a great sense of accomplishment.
Discovering the songs and other music most loved by someone in your care is at the heart of the MUSIC & MEMORY? personalized music program. Sometimes the individual won’t know the answer right away, or sometimes she won’t be able to recall because of her particular cognitive challenges. Did you ever go out when you were there?’ She shared that she remembered taking dance lessons with her brother. In addition to age, find out where the person was born, where he lived over the course of his life, and his first language. If you meet some resistance and skepticism about your knowledge of another culture’s music, don’t let that dissuade you. You’re going to learn about the world on the way to learning about the person in your care. Your average run-of-the-mill crook probably wouldna€™t bother looking for it there, but the police or the NSA will. Because the buttons are attached programmatically, they should not be interpreted as editorial endorsements. Its primary mission is to explore the nature and significance of oral history and advance understanding of the field among scholars, educators, practitioners, and the general public. Through this intriguing local history, Abigail digs into the connection between oral history, historical memory, and social change. So, please enjoy this quick interview and her article, which is currently available to all. The questions were also framed according to a very particular set of goals that project coordinators sought to achieve — as I argue, they hoped to galvanize community cohesion in the 1990s and to situate the local community organization at the center of contemporary change. Much of the research for the book came from archival collections, but the oral histories from the 1990s, and the ones I collected, were instrumental in fleshing out the story and humanizing what could otherwise have been a rather institutional history of the West Mount Airy Neighbors organization.
The students developed the themes and questions, recruited participants, conducted and transcribed interviews.
This fall, I’ll be working with Professor Dan Royles and his digital humanities students to index the interviews we’ve collected and develop an online digital library for the project. Her research revolves around the intersection of West African history, literature and identity construction, as well as a fledgling interest in digital humanities.
For a screening in Ohio, the state’s Department of Aging helped promote the program with key information and links on their letterhead as handouts.
Not only does the music calm their loved ones; the caregivers also gain peaceful time to focus on daily household tasks or their own personal needs.
The recipient, caregivers and family members also have access to a social worker for support, group activities and other services. They also reported that their caregiving responsibilities created less of a negative impact on their personal life and health than before their loved ones had access to personalized music. McCurbin says the volunteers range in age from 14 to 60, with the teens coming from public high schools to fulfill community service requirements. As one conference call participant noted, “When we get them involved in creating a list for the resident, there is much more joy in the process.
Committed to improving the lives of elderly in NYC, Julio introduced his son to Concetta Tomaino, a Music & Memory board member and Director of the Institute of Music and Neurologic Function. Gradually, however, as she recognized the songs, she began to sit more upright in her wheelchair. Short-term patients sign an agreement to replace the iPod if it is lost and are typically able to use the devices on their own with some basic instruction. When she listened to John play the guitar and lead a group in song, after about 45 minutes, she began to respond with a word or even a phrase. Rhodes board member saw Alive Inside at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, she came back determined to bring MUSIC & MEMORY? to the company’s three Atlanta facilities. So we started playing her music—gospel, R&B—when she was in the shower, using an external speaker. Jessica gave her an enthusiastic thumb’s up and promised to cover training costs through her volunteer program budget. Jessica oversees more than 200 volunteers who provide a variety of services to guests and patients. Washington State University in Pullman and the University of Idaho in Moscow, just across the state line, are both potential resources. Pick a time when extra staff are available, maybe when there are extra activities scheduled, to try the first dose reduction, so that enough help is around if the individual needs support.
They then processed and analyzed their findings, looking specifically at issues of race, power and representation in the wake of the storm.
I’ll also be attending to the OHA annual meeting this year to discuss the project’s transformative impact on the students themselves. Before coming to Madison, Caitlin worked for the Lannan Center for Poetics and Social Practice at Georgetown University.
Senior Star helped spread the word about upcoming screenings on their Facebook page with a share campaign. When he placed the headphones over her ears, she looked in his eyes and smiled at him the entire time the music was playing.
That visit inspired Alejandro to learn more about Music & Memory, and to conceptualize his Eagle Scout service project.
Pet visits are part of the mix, as well as a harpist and dulcimer musician who will play for patients in their rooms when requested.
She said, ‘If you don’t fix it, I’ll cry!’” He soon returned with a fully charged iPod loaded with her playlist, to her great pleasure.
So far, Ginny has tapped Pullman High School, which requires students to complete a senior project.

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