Enhancing memory through music.

Music and Memory℠ is based on a very simple idea that uses a common technology product to transform lives and experiences – creating and playing personalized playlists though portable digital music devices. Music and Memory℠ has proven to vastly improve the quality of life of people living with dementia and other cognitive challenges. Through the use of inexpensive, portable digital music players (iPods) and individualized playlists created through the Music and Memory℠ program, caregivers are provided with an effective and powerful tool to engage people facing cognitive challenges in a meaningful way.

The Front Porch Center for Innovation and Wellbeing (FPCIW) partnered with Music and Memory℠, a non-profit organization, to test the program at  Villa Gardens Retirement Community and St. Barnabas Senior Services. Over a period of four weeks, FPCIW measured the program’s impact on residents and caregiver staff and noted visible improvements in overall wellbeing and found that …

  • Overall mood improvement between 31% to 46%
  • 66.7% of caregivers reported that the program was substantially effective in reducing and easing pain for the individuals
  • 57.1% of caregivers observed it was effective in reducing disruptive verbal/physical behavior, replaced with better moods
  • Staff reported participants who were typically socially withdrawn were more alert and socially engaged

The feedback and results from our pilot observations were compelling. Caregivers unanimously reported  that the intervention increased the quality of life and care delivery for people in this program. The research results at St. Barnabas and Villa Gardens prompted Front Porch to deploy the Music and Memory℠ program to additional communities including Sunny View, Claremont Manor, Villa Gardens, Walnut Village, Carlsbad By The Sea, Wesley Palms, and Fredericka Manor.

Read the CIW report on this pilot.

Browse our Music and Memory℠ photo gallery.

Download a PDF version of this story.