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Benjamin rose institute on aging, rsvp of lake county receive grant to offer music & memory℠

Contact: Jeanne Hoban, 216.373.1686,

February 10, 2017

Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging and RSVP of Lake County have received a grant from the Lake County Board of Commissioners for a project designed to engage older adults with dementia in a music intervention, Music and Memory℠. The grant is funded through the Lake County Senior Citizens Collaborative Initiative.

The 18-month project, titled "Engaging Persons with Dementia and Their Family Caregivers in the Community: A Lake County Music & Memory Initiative", will also provide training and certification for 20 senior volunteers as intervention leaders.

Music & Memory is an innovative approach to dementia care pioneered by Dan Cohen and supported by neuroscience research. The intervention uses personalized music to tap into the relatively well-preserved pathways that link familiar music to memory for people with dementia. There is some evidence that music can provide a non-pharmacological means of improving affect, anxiety and quality of life for individuals with dementia. Personalized music may also be a beneficial resource for caregivers to manage the challenging aspects of dementia, reconnect with the person with dementia around music, and get some respite from the demands of caregiving.

One hundred Music and Memory kits-including an iPod shuffle, a set of headphones, a splitter, a wall charger, and an iTunes gift card-will be provided through an existing grant to Benjamin Rose from the Ohio Department of Aging. The participating senior centers and assisted living sites will also be equipped with speakers to be used for group listening.

RSVP of Lake County will serve as the grant administrator. In addition, RSVP senior volunteers will be trained to conduct the personalized music intervention, loading the iPods with the appropriate iTunes songs and helping the client with putting the head phones on and turning on the music.

The Benjamin Rose Center for Research and Education will adapt the Music and Memory intervention to be used in groups in senior centers, collaborate on developing the protocols and procedures for implementing the intervention, and be responsible for data collection and analysis. Benjamin Rose will also work with RSVP and its partners to develop a sustainability plan for the project.

The project will launch with a screening of the documentary film Alive Inside on April 26, 2017 from 1:00 p.m to 3:00 p.m. The film demonstrates the power music has to reconnect our minds with lifetime memories and joyous experiences when the mind alone struggles to remember.

RSVP of Lake County will hold iPod & iTunes Gift Card drives through the RSVP website, newsletter, RSVP volunteer recognition event each fall and the Community Event for the Music & Memory program. This will enable the volunteers to continue to offer Music & Memory programming at local senior centers, churches and assisted living complexes after the first 100 tool kits are distributed.

For more information on the Lake County Music & Memory program and the film screening, contact RSVP of Lake County at 440.269.3015 or


About Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging ( The mission of Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging is to advance support for older adults and caregivers. Our work is accomplished by deepening the understanding of their evolving needs in a changing society; developing and delivering innovative, high-quality solutions; and promoting effective public policies. Founded in 1908, Benjamin Rose provides direct service to older adults and their caregivers, engages in applied social research, and leads advocacy efforts in support of older adults.

RSVP of Lake County ( matches the skills, talents and experience of adults age 55 and over with volunteer opportunities. Currently, RSVP of Lake County has over 500 active volunteers serving over 80 nonprofits and health care agencies. The program is funded locally by the Lake County Senior Citizen Services Levy, federally by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), and by the Ohio Department of Aging. RSVP has been sponsored by the Willoughby-Eastlake City School District since its inception.