In step with the mission of the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Third Order of St. Francis to address the health and wellness needs of our more than 200 residents, The Village at Marymount recently received a $10,000 grant from The Cleveland Foundation to help support its Music & Memory Program.

 Music & Memory is an innovative approach to dementia care pioneered by Dan Cohen and supported by neuroscience research. The program is an example of the type of person-centered care that Ohio – and The Village at Marymount — embraces. The Cleveland Foundation grant will also help with the purchase of iPods and headphones for residents so that they can receive an iPod customized with their favorite music.

Through Music & Memory, residents are able to listen to their favorite music through the popular iPod digital music player. The Music & Memory Program offers training for nursing home staff, other elder care professionals and family caregivers on how to create and provide personalized playlists that enable those struggling with dementia to reconnect with the world through memories triggered by the music they love. The process builds lasting, caring relationships and improves the care experience for all involved.

 “Our brains are hard-wired to connect music with long-term memory,” said Sue Nall, The Village at Marymount’s executive director. “People with dementia, Parkinson’s disease and other diseases that damage brain chemistry can reconnect to the world and gain improved quality of life from listening to personal music favorites.”

 According to the Alzheimer’s Association, music has power — especially for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. Music can spark compelling outcomes even in the very late stages of the disease. When used appropriately, music can shift mood, manage stress-induced agitation, stimulate positive interactions, facilitate cognitive functions, and coordinate motor movements.

 “We greatly appreciate The Cleveland Foundation’s support of this program, and its continued belief in The Village at Marymount and the mission of the Sisters,” Nall added.