“Alive Inside” Phoenix Premier August 15Posted on August 10, 2014 by ElderCare Resources in Alzheimers Care, Blog, Caregiver Education, Dementia Care, Local Events, Nursing Homes
The Power of Music: New Film “Alive Inside” Is a Must-See for Dementia Care Partners
One stigma of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias is the belief that people living with advanced dementia are completely “gone” –“shells of their former selves.” A new documentary shows that people with advanced dementia who may seem to have lost their ability to speak are still capable of being roused and engaged in conversation. It turns out that music is key—specifically, individualized music from the person’s childhood and young adulthood.
Now through September, the film “Alive Inside” is premiering in select theaters across the country, and is well worth seeing if you know someone with Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia—and even if you don’t. “Alive Inside” chronicles the work of social worker Dan Cohen, founder and Executive Director of the nonprofit Music and Memory SM. Cohen has campaigned for years to bring personalized music to nursing home residents in the form of an iPod or other digital device loaded with the person’s favorite music from childhood or early adulthood. Hundreds of nursing homes in the U.S. and Canada have implemented Music and Memory, and Cohen hopes the film will help bring personalized music to many more elders.
Watch the trailer.
Directed by Michael Rossato-Bennett, “Alive Inside” won the 2014 Sundance Film Festival Audience Award.
According to the film’s trailer, when nursing home residents with advanced dementia—who often sit in a stupor, curled up into themselves—listen to headphones with music from their youth, they start singing along and moving their bodies in rhythm with the music. Some elders who seem incapable of rising from their wheelchairs get up and dance. When the headphones are taken off, many of the elders are so stimulated by the music and their memories associated with the music that they start talking to the people around them, sharing those memories, answering questions, and having real conversations. It seems nothing short of miraculous.
By: Martha Stettinius, Caregivers.com