During the 2014 Sundance Festival, Aaron Koelsch – designer and builder of specialty memory care communities across America - watched a documentary showing this miracle come alive on the screen. The documentary was Alive Inside -winner of the Audience Award for U.S. Documentaries. Mr. Koelsch knew he was watching something remarkable happen – something that could impact the lives of hundreds of elders under his care.
As he shared the clip of Henry’s miracle with his team members, tears turned to discussions turned to action. The featured social worker in the documentary had recently launched a non-profit – Music and Memory – to equip families and professionals to deliver high-quality, personal music to ladies and gentlemen with Alzheimer’s in a way that could potentially unlock fog, recall memories, rekindle relationships, calm anxiety, and enrich often weary days with deep feeling.
The Vancouver team volunteered to partner with Washington State University to raise awareness of this life changing project in Southwest Washington. On Tuesday, September 22nd at 6 p.m., the city is invited to join families of elders with memory loss and professionals who care for them for a screening of the Alive Inside documentary at WSU Vancouver. Dr. Bill Griesar, Neurology, and Dr. Cory Bolkan, Human Development, will lead a panel discussion along with two graduate students - Megan Slaker - an expert on memory research; Jeff Leake – an artist coordinating projects with people who have dementia.
After the event, two Koelsch memory care centers in Vancouver will pilot a project to engage each of their 120 elders in personalized music by iPod. You can help by attending the movie, joining an upcoming how-to workshop, volunteering to help an elder create their playlist, donating iPods and iTune gift certificates, or sharing this information with someone caring for an elder with memory loss. For details or free tickets to the screening, firstname.lastname@example.org or call 360-480-5939.