Music and Memory

Research has shown that our brains are hard-wired to connect music with long-term memory. As a result of enabling individuals to readily listen to meaningful music, individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s disease are happier and more social, experience less anxiety and agitation, have deeper relationships, and are less reliant on medications. Through the generosity of The Reinberger Foundation, Jennings is incorporating best practices in Alzheimer’s care and research in our specialized memory care neighborhoods through the Music and Memory℠ program, in which personalized playlists enable those living with dementia to reconnect with the world through memories triggered by music.

In just six months of using Music and Memory, there has been a positive impact. Some residents use the music interventions as part of their regular routines and find it a welcome relaxation. In addition, we were able to reduce as-needed (PRN) psychoactive medication by 58% in one neighborhood.

Video Example

The following video illustrates the immediate impact of music and memory with a particular resident. PLEASE NOTE: The first few seconds of the video are very difficult to watch. You will see that Dorothy is trying to verbally communicate without success, and she is becoming increasingly frustrated. When her caregiver approaches Dorothy with her personalized playlist, watch as Dorothy physically relaxes from her shoulders all the way to her tapping toes.

Music and Memory is an innovative approach to dementia care pioneered by Dan Cohen, supported by neuroscience research, and currently promoted as a best practice in dementia care by the Ohio Department of Aging. It  is a certification program that trains nursing home staff and family caregivers 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. For more information about this transformational program, visit