Giving The Gift of Music to Dementia Patients
Music is often referred to as a gift. Someone’s musical talents are gifts, but those gifts come as a result of repetition and hard work. Music does not require that someone be able to create it, in order to love it. Music inspires us. Music fills our hearts with joy. And music is one of our strongest memories. This love of music is at the heart of why we are making Dinkerbop. Some believe that listening to music while learning or experience something helps to reinforce the memory or “lock it in”. Do you recall a time in your life when you struggled to remember something for school but you are able to easily recall every lyric and note of your favorite song? Or after not hearing a song for years, magically you can sing along without missing a beat. Listening to music while learning for the purpose of improving your memorization is called the “Mozart effect”. It’s a very simple: pleasurable music releases dopamine and pleasurable memories are retained. That’s why we can remember every word in a song but forget that person’s name we met 5 minutes ago. But what happens when someone’s memories begin to vanish? This is where the power of music is really phenomenal.
For the loved ones of someone experiencing dementia, they experience a range of emotions. There is a feeling of helplessness that comes with watching someone’s mind decline. Members of the Dinkerbop team have experienced this with our family members. This experience is what inspired us to create Dinkerbop. We wanted to be able to give our loved ones the gift of music. When we would go see a family member with dementia, we could put on the radio and enjoy music together. But when we were not there, the music would stop. With Dinkerbop, we created a simple radio for dementia patients that would allow them to get their favorite music at the right volume without having to deal with a bunch of knobs. We boiled it down to 3 simple buttons that are programmed to play their favorite music from the radio or MP3s. And we made Dinkerbop bright, colorful, and fun. It is our musical gift box. All you have to do is put your loved ones favorite music inside.
Watch How Music Comes Alive
Many people have become aware of the connection between music and memory because of the Netflix documentary, Alive Inside. In this documentary, it shows how a man that lives a solitary existence in a nursing home is brought to life when he hears some of his favorite songs. It is an award winning and moving documentary that is a must watch! Dinkerbop will achieve some of the same emotional reactions that come from musical stimuli. It is not a cure, but it is a small pleasure that you can give. We owe a debt of gratitude to the doctors and musicians that have pursued the study of music and the mind. We build on their work and we hope to be able to contribute to the understanding of Alzheimer’s, dementia, and how music can be used for therapy and entertainment.
We are working day and night to finish the development of Dinkerbop. Every comment and email we get inspires us to keep working to make something that really can be the gift of music. We have started to share our product development journey on Facebook and we hope you will follow and share your story. Like Dinkerbop on Facebook.
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