Alive Inside is a documentary that explores the use of music to combat memory loss in dementia patients. The documentary won the Audience Award at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.
Though there are medications that can lower blood pressure or blood sugar levels, modern medicine has not found a pill that can reawaken the mind. However, many case examples prove that doctors looking to reawakening the mind may want to look beyond medication to music. In the official trailer for Alive Inside you follow a social worker, Dan Cohen, as he demonstrates exactly how music can be used to combat memory loss and return a sense of self to those battling dementia.
In Alive Inside, filmmaker Michael Rossato-Bennett chronicles the astonishing experiences of individuals around the country who have been revitalized through the simple experience of listening to music. His camera reveals the uniquely human connection we find in music and how its healing power can triumph where prescription medication falls short.
The project itself helps support the works of Music and Memory, a non-profit organization that brings personalized music into the lives of the elderly, for which Cohen is Executive Director. Cohen’s original work began when he discovered that none of the 16,000 long-term care facilities in the US used iPods for their residents. Drawing on his background in leveraging technology to benefit those who would otherwise have no access, he volunteered at a local nursing home in Greater New York, creating personalized playlists for residents. The program was a hit with residents, staff and families, and became the prototype for a bigger effort.
What do you think about the initiative of introducing music therapy to dementia patients?