Alive Inside Shows the Power of Music as Therapy for Dementia Patients

<i>Alive Inside</i> Shows the Power of Music as Therapy for Dementia Patients
© Courtesy of Sundance Institute

Practically guaranteed to elicit tears within its first five minutes, Alive Inside — a documentary about activist Dan Cohen's attempts to get nursing homes to use music as a part of their care regimen for those afflicted with dementia, Alzheimer's, and Parkinson's diseases — is nonetheless more than just a tearjerker.

Opening with clips of an unwell elderly woman and man becoming rejuvenated, physically and mentally, after listening to the favorite songs of their youth, director Michael Rossato-Bennett's moving film argues music's therapeutic value on slowly deteriorating minds.

This treatment is the brainchild of Cohen, whose Music & Memory non-profit organization advocates such methods as a way to not only relight the spark of senior citizens cast into mental darkness but also — by functioning as an at-home alternative to pharmaceutical medication — to help alleviate an increasingly overly burdened health care system.

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Location Info


Landmark Sunshine Cinema

143 E. Houston St.
New York, NY 10002

Category: Movie Theaters

Region: Lower East Side


Directed by Michael Rossato-Bennett
Opens July 18, Landmark Sunshine Cinema

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That latter argument is far from thoroughly (or convincingly) laid out. Yet Rossato-Bennett's footage of confused and/or comatose older people being euphorically reinvigorated by songs on Cohen's iPod compellingly conveys how music — so intimately wedded to our emotions, and experiences — can help the severely ill elderly reconnect with themselves.

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This new research can make the treatment of dementia much more accessible. Caregivers of people with dementia must make music a part of the patient’s routine. Music is not only good for dementia patients; it can rejuvenate your soul and brighten your mood.

schultzybeckett topcommenter

Every impacted individual naturally sees it from his or her personal perspective without regard to how many times over the decades such displacements have taken place and will continue to take place.  The people who previously lived in their current units likely underwent the same drastic change.  Rents don't go down over time any more than do other cost of living items such as utilities and food.Thanks to all the uber-rich for throwing their money down a rat hole to the gun initiative instead of doing something really worthwhile and helpful like building affordable housing for the elderly.  Yes, it's your money and you can do what you want with it, but if you want to get kudos for being such highly regarded philanthropists then help solve something that struggling people and communities really need help with.  The Ebola donation was a start, but how about funding more firefighters, water main replacements, road repairs, etc..., you know, something that real people and communities can't afford to do but really need doing?  Oh that's right, you don't care about us, sorry for bothering you.

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