The Power of Music

February 22, 2013
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By Suzanne Paolucci, LCSW

An important role I have as the Elder Care Coordinator at Tully Law, P.C. is to make sure our families have access to important resources in the community. I spend a great deal of time networking with professionals to learn about the services they offer to the senior population and their loved ones. If you have not already visited the Elder Care Resource Center, Inc. (, I encourage you to do so. What started in 2004 with just a few hundred links and Brian’s passion to make sure individuals and families have access to resources and information has now grown into over 1,600 links to elder care resources. I am always on the lookout for more helpful resources so please do not hesitate to contact me if you have one to share. Today, I would like to introduce you to a wonderful resource.

Music and Memory ( is a non-profit organization that brings personalized music into the lives of the elderly or infirm. Dan Cohen, the organization’s founder has been on a crusade to bring music to residents of nursing homes by fitting each resident with their own personal playlist of music on an iPod. As stated on the website, the science behind it is simple, “Favorite music or songs associated with important personal events can trigger memory of lyrics and the experience connected to the music. Beloved music often calms chaotic brain activity and enables the listener to focus on the present moment and regain a connection to others. Persons with dementia, Parkinson’s and other diseases that damage brain chemistry also reconnect to the world and gain improved quality of life from listening to personal music favorites.” The nursing homes that have participated in Dan’s work have reported astounding results. You can see the effect of music first hand by viewing a video of Henry, a nursing home resident at:

To learn more about how you can create your own personal playlist for your loved one, download their free publication at:

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