iPod recycling program revives love of music for the elderly and dementia patients

    Dozens of tech firms have recycling applications, providing customers a approach to put their outdated, discarded again into the system for good use. Apple, Google, and Amazon, for instance, all have pages devoted to accepting any outdated devices you might need mendacity round.

    However few of those recycling applications resemble Music & Memory, a non-profit devoted to offering these in nursing properties or services with personalised music playlists on donated iPods or mp3 gamers.

    Dan Cohen, a tech-focused social employee from Lengthy Island, NY began this system in 2006 with only a laptop computer and two iPods, initially hoping to handle the expertise hole that disproportionately impacts the aged.

    “iPods have been ubiquitous for younger individuals however not for the aged, who love music simply as a lot as anybody,” Cohen stated. “Alzheimer’s and dementia robbed many of those individuals of their reminiscence. However their emotional techniques are intact. Music can faucet into that emotion and produce again sure emotions.”

    SEE: Disposal of Equipment Policy (Tech Professional Analysis)

    After a decade of arduous work, the group now will get endorsements from well-known musicians like Elvis Costello, has its personal well-regarded documentary, and collects 200 donated iPods/mp3 gamers per thirty days that they recycle for nursing dwelling use. Apple discontinued the last traditional iPod models in 2017, but Music & Reminiscence has managed to scrounge up over 16,000 iPods and mp3 gamers and distribute them to nursing properties and hospitals throughout the nation.

    This system has grown due in no small half to the very noticeable impact it has on nursing dwelling sufferers. Nursing properties have nearly all the time struggled to maintain sufferers completely happy, engaged, social, and lively, typically utilizing reside musical performances to maintain the aged concerned and conscious.

    “It has been completely wonderful to see somebody’s face gentle up after they hear their very own personalised music. Now we have seen a lower in opposed resident behaviors, much less wandering, extra social interplay, and the residents are extra upbeat and completely happy after listening to their music,” stated Kim Martinson, a nurse at Morseland Nursing House in Wisconsin.

    In line with Cohen, lower than half of all nursing dwelling residents get common guests, and it is not as a result of they don’t have kin or buddies. This system has allowed many households to reconnect with their older family members by serving to them create playlists for them and tapping right into a shared love of sure songs and artists. Entry to their favourite music improves their sociability and makes visits extra pleasurable for everybody.

    “For me, Music & Reminiscence is a weapon within the arsenal to battle for dignity, hope, and achievement within the lives of our elders,” stated Tom Davis, a director at Signature HealthCARE in Memphis. “This program, greater than another type of remedy, reconnects the resident to a way of self and well-being.”

    Though aged sufferers in nursing properties had all the time responded positively to reside music, earlier than Music & Reminiscence, nobody had thought to present them music gamers with personalised playlists. That has modified during the last decade, with at the least 400 nursing properties per state adopting Music & Reminiscence’s program.

    There at the moment are practically 5,000 services the world over which have added Music & Reminiscence’s program to their companies, and it’s changing into a codified public coverage aim in quite a lot of US states. Greater than 75,000 individuals at the moment participate in this system, spending about 5 hours per week listening to music. Their finish aim is to have their program in at the least 60,000 services the world over, and they’re nicely on their method as they broaden globally.

    It’s now a coverage program on the largest hospital community in New York Metropolis and has branched out to 10 different nations together with Israel, Australia, Argentina, Canada, and plenty of locations in Europe. This system can be transferring past aged sufferers, as science has proven that music remedy may also help these in rehab or detox applications in addition to these fighting psychological problems.

    “Know-how like this may also help people who find themselves digitally remoted, and a lot of our mission is determining what individuals want and the way we will get it to them,” Cohen stated.

    Households are inspired to do that on their very own by following an easy-to-use PDF on creating playlists for family members. Dan hopes to broaden this system into serving to the aged use Web of Issues (IoT) units akin to these powered by Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, which he thinks might be helpful to those that both cannot use their fingers or can not see nicely sufficient to sort on a display.

    “Know-how makes them really feel that they’ll nonetheless do issues, and when you’ll be able to nonetheless do issues, you’ll be able to nonetheless study issues, your thoughts remains to be stimulated,” Oneida County Lengthy Time period Care Facility nurse Cindy Dawson stated. “While you’re stimulated, you begin taking management of your life. You will have initiative. This seems like their dwelling, which is what it is imagined to be.”

    Music & Reminiscence has secured partnerships and funding from quite a lot of organizations, together with two headphone firms. Reward from nursing properties, sufferers, and households has been effusive for the recycling program.

    “You possibly can see the worth of this program as being not only a informal exercise, however nearly a necessity for every day care, due to the promise and potential that it has for enhancing high quality of life,” stated Dr. Concetta Tomaino, government director of Institute for Music and Neurologic Operate.

    Within the US, Cohen stated this system is barely reaching 2% of the estimated 2.5 million people in long-term care nationwide, and even much less of the four million at dwelling with some type of dementia. Ultimately, he desires each nursing dwelling to have music accessible 24/7, and with a gradual stream of recycled iPods and mp3 gamers making their method into his coffers, he’s prepared for the problem.

    “The music that we love is tied in with our emotional system, and our emotional system remains to be very a lot intact even with dementia and Alzheimer’s,” Cohen stated. “That is what we’re connecting and that is what nonetheless works.”

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    Picture: iStockphoto/shironosov

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