New Documentary Delves Into Impact of Music on Nursing Home Residents



Most viral internet video includes adorable animals or break-out entertainment acts. However, over the last week and a half there has been steady buzz about a unique Youtube clip related to senior care and well-being. The viral video which can be seen above is a clip from a new documentary called “Alive Inside” that explores the therapeutic benefits of music for those in nursing homes, including those with serious cognitive issues like dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Each Illinois nursing home lawyer at our firm hopes that the stories shared in these materials will emphasize the need to focus real resources on senior thriving and well-being. Nursing homes cannot be viewed merely as places to house certain residents. Instead they must be flourishing places where seniors are still able to use their skills, pursue their passions, and engage in the world around them. With so many stories shared about nursing home neglect and mistreatment, it is important not to skip over the stories of new techniques that make the lives of residents better.

The idea behind this music therapy is very simple: providing seniors with iPods filled with favorite songs and see the effect that the music has on them. The results, evident even after watching this short clip, are stunning. Residents who had spent years languishing without much animation or interaction are transformed.

One man in this clip, Henry, has lived in a nursing home for ten years after his health deteriorated to the point that his wife could no longer provide proper care for him on her own. In the past Henry was very docile, rarely talked to anyone, and was said to have trouble answering yes or no questions.

After a bit of time listening to his favorite music, that all changes.

Henry is immediately visibly engaged with the music, swaying and quietly singing. Even after the iPod is taken away, the positive effects of the music are evident. In ways he never would have before, Henry opens up to the interviewer, explaining who his favorite singer is and even giving a short rendition of his favorite song-“I’ll Be Home for Christmas.”
Amazingly, Henry then goes on to describe exactly how the music affects him and makes him feel. “It gives me the feeling of love, of romance. I figure right now the world needs to come into music, singing. You’ve got beautiful music here,” Henry explained.

Our Chicago nursing home neglect attorneys appreciate that these simple techniques-like sharing music from their youth-can often makes a huge difference in the lives of local seniors. What is particularly encouraging is that these activities have little cost. All that is needed is some simple resources, time, and the ability of caregivers to be proactive in their commitment to maximizing the well-being of the residents.

This latest documentary was created by a senior care organization called “Music and Memory” that is committed to getting iPods to nursing home residents. The group’s efforts are part of a larger well-documented trend on the effects of music. Over the past several years researchers have found that music can help seniors arouse old memories and might even help those with dementia form new memories. The documentary premiered this week in New York.

See Our Related Blog Posts:

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