When you think of iPods or other MP3 players, you picture kids and young people glued to the little screens, earplugs in, zoning out to their favorite videos or music. And perhaps a few eye rolls and frustrated sighs from parents and teachers. However, for those with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, these devices, which can hold thousands of songs, are helping to bring back lost memories and improve lives.
“Musical favorites can tap deep memories that haven’t been lost to dementia and can bring participants back to life,” said Penny Goldman, the activities manager at Mountainside Senior Living in Crozet, talking about its Music & Memory Program, which provides iPods with personalized song lists to those with memory loss. Recently, the program got a welcome boost with a $9,000 grant from the Dave Matthews Band’s Bama Works Foundation.
“And for a time, their music enables them to feel like themselves again — to converse, socialize and stay present,” she said.