It’s official. We’ve now surpassed 3,000 MUSIC & MEMORY® Certified Care Organizations in the U.S., Canada, Australia and Europe. In just the past eight months, Music & Memory has added one thousand more care settings, as personalized music continues to demonstrate a host of therapeutic benefits:
- Participants are more upbeat, often regaining lost ability to communicate verbally;
- Visits with family and friends improve;
- Better moods lead to calmer social environments and closer relationships with care professionals;
- Staff enjoy their jobs more;
- Growing evidence supports field observations that personalized music can be a viable alternative to antipsychotic medications.
Benefits of Personalized Music Not Limited to Nursing Homes
“This past year has been an exciting time of growth and expansion,” says Dan Cohen, Executive Director. “We’re hearing stories of how personalized music is helping in so many new and creative ways, from improving PT and OT visits to easing pain.”
Since our founding in 2010, Music & Memory has grown exponentially. Thanks in part to a Sundance Audience Award winning documentary about Music & Memory’s work, personalized music became the standard of care in a thousand facilities between 2010 and 2014. Only a year later, Music & Memory was implemented in another thousand facilities, as state health and aging departments, led by Wisconsin, began to adopt the program. By July of 2016, the program surpassed three thousand facilities. This encouraging trend is expected to continue.
Growing Evidence That Personalized Music Helps to Reduce Use of Antipsychotics
A recent study by Brown University researchers documented reduced behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia in nursing home residents with Alzheimer’s Disease and related dementias (ADRD) who participated in a Music & Memory program. In a retrospective data analysis of long-stay nursing home (NH) residents with ADRD, the researchers concluded: “From 2012 to 2013, residents in M&M NHs demonstrated greater 180-day improvement in behavioral symptom frequency and antipsychotic medication use than pair-matched controls.”
Worldwide Expansion Includes Hospitals in Australia
As interest and news of success stories continue to grow, Music & Memory’s personalized music program is spreading to a wide range of care settings, including hospices, adult day health centers, home health care and hospitals. In Australia, the personalized music program was introduced last year to Australian aged care facilities by the Arts Health Institute and has now been expanded to acute healthcare services and hospital dementia units.
“We are grateful to be growing, even as we have a long way to go,” says Cohen. “With 60,000 health care organizations in the U.S., we continue to work hard to spread the benefits of personalized music to all who might benefit, whether living in a care community or at home.”
Founded in 2010, MUSIC & MEMORY® is a non-profit organization that brings personalized music into the lives of people with cognitive or physical conditions through digital music technology, vastly improving quality of life.
Image Credit: Jose Torres