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Metropolitan Family Services DuPage Launches Music & Memory© Program

Wheaton, Ill. (October 27, 2016) – Metropolitan Family Services DuPage Center has launched an evidence-based program that uses music to stimulate and bring joy to those affected by dementia and similar conditions. Metropolitan is raising funds and recruiting volunteers to help expand Music & Memory© to all families enrolled in its In-Home Senior Respite services.

Metropolitan’s In-Home Senior Respite program provides screened and trained volunteers to provide weekly respite for DuPage County families who care for elderly loved ones in the home – at no cost to families. Metropolitan DuPage is one of the only home-based certified providers of Music & Memory in Illinois.

Volunteers certified by Music & Memory work with the senior and the family to load an iPod with personalized music selections the senior enjoys. Rooted in extensive neuroscience research, Music & Memory has consistently shown to reduce agitation; increase cooperation and attention; and enhance engagement and socialization.

Music & Memory is inspired by the award-winning documentary “Alive Inside,” a film that recorded firsthand how the program’s techniques can evoke forms of communication, movement and meaningful exchanges from people who were previously deemed non-communicative. The link to the documentary trailer is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5FWn4JB2YLU.

Though Metropolitan launched Music & Memory on Oct. 1, the initial group of participating seniors has already seen results. Debbie Pasquesi, the wife and caregiver for Metropolitan’s first respite client to begin Music & Memory, reports that her husband, Allen, is generally calmer and happier, and she has not needed to increase the dose of the medication that helps control his behavior.

“The music taps into something in his brain,” Debbie said. “I walked in the first time and it was like winning the lottery. It made a completely different and immediate change.”

Metropolitan DuPage is seeking funding to support each segment of this swiftly expanding program. Items requested include:

  • Gently used and new iPods
  • iTunes gift cards
  • General program donations

Support from corporations, local businesses and individual donors helped fund the program’s initial phase. Local high school students are joining a drive to obtain used iPods and iTunes cards to purchase music.

Volunteer recruitment also is vital as this program has an all-volunteer staff. Assistance with compiling music playlists for Music & Memory participants is especially needed. Inquiries and interest in the program are welcome.

For more information about In-Home Senior Respite, Music & Memory and ways to get involved, please contact Susan Weiner, Volunteer Marketing Coordinator, In-Home Senior Respite Program, Metropolitan DuPage, at 630-606-3779 or susanweiner@sbcglobal.net.

About Metropolitan Family Services DuPage Center
Metropolitan Family Services DuPage, started more than 80 years ago, is a family service/mental health agency serving some of DuPage County’s most vulnerable children and families. Whether through early childhood education, parent education, family therapy, youth mentoring, psychiatric and mental health services for all ages, or services for older adults and their caregivers, Metropolitan “mpowers” individuals and families to learn, to earn, to heal and to thrive.