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The Ohio Department of Aging

Ohio Department of Aging Music and Memory

Music & Memory

The Healing Power of Music

Imagine being trapped inside your own body, your connections to your memories and people you hold dear muddled and confused. For many Ohioans with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias, this is their world. But what if something as simple as a song could change that? Consider the story of Henry:


How it works

Music & MemorySM is an innovative approach to dementia care pioneered by Dan Cohen and supported by neuroscience research. The program is an example of the type of person-centered care that Ohio is embracing. The Ohio Department of Aging is excited to bring this program to our state.

An older woman listens to her favorite musicThrough Music & MemorySM, individuals listen to their favorite music through the popular iPod digital music player. Music & MemorySM trains nursing home staff, other elder care professionals and family caregivers how to create and provide personalized playlists that enable those struggling with dementia to reconnect with the world through memories triggered by the music they love. The process builds lasting, caring relationships and improves the care experience for all involved.

Our brains are hard-wired to connect music with long-term memory. People with dementia, Parkinson's disease and other diseases that damage brain chemistry can reconnect to the world and gain improved quality of life from listening to personal music favorites.

Learn more about Music & MemorySM.






How you can use Music & MemorySM

Caregivers - The principles and one-on-one approach of Music & MemorySM hold tremendous potential for older Ohioans and their caregivers.
Request the free guide, "How to Create a Personalized Playlist for Your Elder at Home"
Personalized playlist quick-start cards

Nursing homes and other care providers - You can become a Music & MemorySM Certified Care Facility.


How you can support Music & MemorySM

Music & MemorySM relies on volunteer support. Volunteers can:

  • Create or join a Music & MemorySM service project
  • Donate new or gently used iPods, as well as iTunes gift cards to Music & MemorySM or your local participating site.
  • Organize and promote an iPod/iTunes gift card drive.
  • Volunteer at a local Music & MemorySM site creating playlists and helping residents with their iPods.
  • Identify a local nursing home and help them get a Music & MemorySM program started.

Learn more...


Donate iPods


Ombudsman: Expect Excellence in Your Care
The Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman
proudly supports Ohio's Music & MemorySM program.


Alive Inside

"Alive Inside" is an award-winning film by Michael Rossato-Bennett that follows Dan Cohen, the founder and executive director of Music & Memory. Following the Columbus premiere, the Ohio Department of Aging hosted a Talk-Back panel featuring state and national experts on dementia and gerontology to discuss the Music & Memory program.

Available on home video!