Music & Memory:
How Many Memories Does an iPod
The Music & Memory Program
 iPod-based personalized playlists to older adults and
individuals suffering from dementia or other chronic
illness, such as:
Visual impairment
Mental health concerns
Palliative care
Multiple Sclerosis
Why Does It Work With Cognitive Decline?
 Music is profoundly linked to personal memories
 Our brains are hard-wired to connect music with
long-term memory
 For individuals with dementia, more recent memory
for things (names, places, facts) are compromised,
but memories from younger years are well preserved
What are the Benefits?
 Numerous outcomes studies find that Music &
Memory has significant positive impacts
Increased awareness, cognition, and engagement
Reduced agitation, anxiety, and problematic behaviors
Pain and depression reduction
Improved communication
Restored sense of identity and increased socialization
Increased mobility
The History of Music & Memory
 Dan Cohen, a social worker in New York, began
thinking about wide availability of technology and
how it could be used for elderly
 He wondered what it would be like to live without his
favorite music
 He searched online and found that nursing homes
were not using this technology
 He volunteered at a local facility to test the idea
The History of Music & Memory
 Received funding from the Shelley & Donald Rubin
Foundation to expand program further
 Established program as a non-profit
 As of August 2014, the program is available in:
6 countries
44 states
600 facilities or community organizations
Almost exclusively in long-term care settings
See For Yourself…
 Henry’s Story
Alive Inside
 After the Henry clip was made, Michael Rosato-
Bennett, a filmmaker, followed Dan for the next 3
Featured at Sundance 2014
Audience Award for Best US Documentary
Release in select theaters in June 2014
Anticipated upcoming Netflix debut this Fall
How Did JFS Discover Music & Memory?
 Henry’s story went viral
 NPR Story about Henry was shared with staff at JFS
 We connected with Dan to find out how we could be
Program seemed adaptable to our services
Dan was responsive and supportive in this process
Why Is This A Good Fit for JFS?
 Non-denominational private non-profit 501c3
 Funded by grants and individual donations
 Sliding fee scale for all services
 Mission Statement
 JFS seeks to strengthen individuals, families, and communities
through counseling, care management, and community
We focus on support for caregivers and those striving to age-inplace
 Also offer support and referrals when necessary to move to longterm care
Why is This a Good Fit for JFS?
 Our goal to help individuals age in place
 Offering the program in the community supports aging in
 Supports caregivers and family as a means of respite and
 Administrative Considerations
 Meets mission of organization
 Arts programming (never before offered at JFS)
 Expands current, and opens new funding streams for grants
and donations
 Utilizes a strong volunteer component, which is a strength of
the agency
Utah’s Music & Memory Presence
 JFS was certified as a Music & Memory organization
in January 2014
3 day webinar, 1.5 hours each day
First organization in Utah to be certified
Only organization in Utah providing community-based
programming at this time
 Now in 40 facilities throughout Utah
 A complete list can be found at
Our Process
Client is Referred
to the Program
Volunteer Completes
Music Interview with
Client (and CG if
Assessment is
Completed with
Client (and CG if
Client or CG pays
$50 one time fee
if able
Client is Matched
with Volunteer
Music for Playlist
and Loads onto
Volunteer Introduces
iPod to Client,
Demonstrates Use,
Establishes Charging
Volunteer Follows
Up After a Week’s
Time, and After As
The Assessment & Referral Process
 In-Home Assessment
 Environment
 Personality/temperament
 Making A Referral
 Client or family can contact us
 You can contact us with client information with their
expressed permission
Role of Volunteers
 The fun stuff!
 Responsibilities:
 Interview program recipients
and caregivers about music
 Download and assemble recipient’s personalized iPod playlist
using iTunes gift cards
 Load playlist onto donated iPod (preferably iPod Shuffle)
 Introduce playlist to recipient
and make changes as necessary
The Music Interview
 Goal:
Identify 80-100 song selections
10-15 favorite artists
Checklists of frequently identified music and music interview
provided by the program
 A few of the questions:
What music did you listen to when you were young?
Did you sing at religious services? What were your favorite hymns?
Did you go to shows or musicals? Did you go dancing?
Do you have any records, tapes, or CDs of your favorite music?
Where can I find them?
What songs did you dance to at your wedding? High school prom?
What Kind of Music Do They Like?
 A little bit of everything!
 Music preferences vary as much as the people being
Big Band
Rock &
And Much
Our iTunes Library
 After 5 months of providing the program, our iTunes
library is vast, and always growing
More than 30GB of music
12 days
 Over 4,600 songs
Challenges & Lessons Learned
 iTunes
Some volunteers aren’t familiar with iTunes
They may or may not want to learn
Use specific volunteers for specific parts of the project
Assess skill sets, commitment, and interest
Recommended Qualities & Skills
Establish a well-organized music library
•Passion for finding the right music for each
•Enjoys researching music
•Understands iTunes
•Computer savvy
•Detail oriented
Research Favorite Music
•Excellent communication skills
•Thoughtful listener
•Compassion for and interest in elders
•Adept at note-taking
Teach Client/Resident How to Use iPod
•Understand use of device
•Excellent oral communication skills
•Empathetic and patient
•Enjoys teaching
Challenges & Lessons Learned
 Facility Computer
Limits volunteer’s freedom
Have to schedule computer time
 Increased staff time because of full-time working volunteers
May be easier to accommodate in long-term care setting
 Donations
iPods often come without charging equipment
iTunes gift cards are less often donated
 They forget to listen, or how to use device
Volunteers encouraged to check in on challenges
Caregivers and family can assist if available
In long-term care settings, this may be easier
 Staff to assist
Where We Are…
 JFS (as of August 2014)
Clients Served: 19
Volunteers Trained: 14
“She seemed to tolerate the earphones without any problem, and my sister and I
noted that she seemed to pay attention to the music even when her eyes were
closed. She would tap her feet, hum as if trying to sing, and smile in apparent
recognition of familiar songs… We were able to do 30 minute sessions in three
successive days. After each listening session, our mother was more alert, interactive,
and her mood was positive for a significant interval. It was wonderful to be able to
give my mom a little pleasure in her day.”
“He really seemed to enjoy listening to the music. He was humming and singing
along…And I love the thought that he might be comforted and receive some joy from
the music - and the memories.”
“My dad listens to his iPod every day. He sings along and smiles widely. He tells
stories I’ve never heard about his youth. This has opened up such a meaningful
opportunity to connect with my father again. Thank you for providing this program.”
Community Collaborations
 Skullcandy
 Zion’s Bank donation of $100,000 toward equipment
 Skullcandy’s ethnographic research
 Center for Alzheimer’s Care, Imaging, and Research
(CACIR)- University of Utah
fMRIs of brain activity of those affected with dementia
listening to their custom iPods
Awaiting IRB approval
 Utah Coalition for Music & Memory
 A collaborative group of government, non-profit, Music &
Memory representatives, Skullcandy, and other senior care
Traction in Facility Settings
 The Utah Health Care Association
 Grant for Music & Memory in all member facilities
 40 facilities thus far certified and trained
 100 total planned
 15 residents in each facility will be provided with program to
 A complete list can be found at
 All of this work, JFS and Utah HCA included, has
happened since January of this year
What Would Be On YOUR Playlist?
 Consider music’s power to bring us back to
memories in a vivid way
What songs do this for you?
What would be a must for your playlist?
Questions? Comments?
Please feel free to
make referrals as
Alle Salazar, CSW
Jewish Family Service
1111 E Brickyard Rd, Suite 218
Salt Lake City, UT 84106
[email protected]

ppt - Utah Aging & Disability Resource Connection