Music & Memory

Teaching Senior Citizens to use technology to improve their lives.

Music & Memory

July 28, 2015 Uncategorized 0

June 9, 2015

Nearly 300 Ohio nursing homes on the way to offering Music & MemorySM to residents

Quality improvement project uses music to improve lives of residents and staff

COLUMBUS – Nearly 300 Ohio nursing homes have signed up for the Music & MemorySM Nursing Home Quality Improvement Project to bring the power of music to their residents and staff. Music & MemorySM is an innovative approach to dementia care that uses personalized playlists on digital music players to help residents reconnect with cherished memories and the world around them.

“Ohio is committed to ensuring the highest quality of life and care for our neighbors who reside in the state’s 967 nursing homes,” said Bonnie K. Burman, director of the Ohio Department of Aging. “Music & MemorySM is about building relationships, which leads to the most responsive care and caring possible, improving our elders’ well-being.”

Music and MemoryMusic & MemorySM trains nursing home staff to create and provide personalized playlists on digital music players, such as iPods, that enable those living with dementia to reconnect to the world through memories triggered by the music that has meaning to them. Using music in daily care builds lasting, caring relationships, results in reduced use of medications and improves the care experience for all involved.

The program is an example of the types of high-quality, person-centered care the state has been promoting in nursing homes and other settings over the past four years. Since July 2013, Ohio nursing homes have been required to participate in at least one quality improvement project every two years to qualify for licensing under Ohio law. The Music & MemorySM project is one of several current projects approved by the Ohio Department of Aging.

Nursing homes participating in the project may request assistance from the Ohio Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman to cover the costs of certification, start-up equipment or both. To date, 248 homes have requested this assistance, funded through civil money penalty funds collected from nursing homes with certain deficiencies. Federal law requires the funds be used to improve the quality of nursing home care and for protection of residents. At least 1,500 nursing home residents statewide will benefit from the funding, and certified homes will be given tools to help them expand their programs further through local contributions. No funds are paid directly to nursing homes.

An additional 50 homes either paid for the certification themselves or took advantage of certification assistance from the Ohio Health Care Association, which offered certification assistance to 100 of its member nursing homes and residential care facilities.

“We are extremely happy to see so many of Ohio’s nursing homes embrace this unique opportunity to provide real person-centered care to their residents,” added Beverley Laubert, the State Long-term Care Ombudsman. “We believe Music & MemorySM can make a difference at every home that implements it, but it will be most beneficial for nursing homes with many residents who take antipsychotic medications, have depressive symptoms or who experience moderate to severe pain.”

To learn more about Music & MemorySM, visit

About ODA – The Ohio Department of Aging works to ensure that Ohio is on the leading edge of innovation in responding to the growing and changing aging population. We work with state agencies, area agencies on aging and other local partners to help integrate aging needs into local plans and ensure that aging Ohioans have access to a wide array of high-quality services and supports that are person-centered in policy and practice. Our programs include the PASSPORT Medicaid waiver, the long-term care ombudsman program, the Golden Buckeye Card and more. Visit