Written by Panorama resident, Bob Bowers. May 2015
On Tuesday, April 28th, the Panorama Auditorium showed a Learning In Retirement segment that all of us should see. It was titled “Music and Memory” and featured the work of Dan Cohen in awakening residents of nursing homes and gentle-care facilities from their seeming withdrawal from life. Dan Cohen is a social worker who observed how withdrawn long term residents with dementia and, particularly, Alzheimer’s disease seemed to be. But, he also observed another thing about them: music, particularly, their favorite type of music seemed to reach deep within their brains and light a fire of memory, animation and socialization. They came alive. Cohen followed this observation by using the technology of the I-Pod player to provide residents with a way to play their own music over the simple headset. He founded a non-for-profit organization dedicated to getting as many nursing homes and gentle-care facilities as possible in this country to use the simple technology to bring life to their residents.
As I watched the LIR video play out I was so glad that last year about this time of year PC/C.A.R.E. and the Panorama Foundation were responsible to bringing the program to the Activities Department of our nursing facility. As a result we have 30 I-Pods in use or will have shortly. It is a thrill to see people who have been in the deep slumber of dementia waken to the tune and beat of their favorite music played on their personal I-Pod in the quiet of their own room. The video showed this so well. I’m delighted to have a part in this program that is so worthy. And—you should be too! Because it is the dollars you have contributed that have made the difference. Thanks!
By the way, Katherine Billings told us the auditorium will be showing the video again soon. Watch for it and see for yourself the value of their program.