This month marks the national Alzheimer's and Brain Awareness month. Over the last year I've had the pleasure of partnering with Yolo Hospice to create some amazing photos and videos about their Music and Memory events, advanced care planning, and other mental health focused work.
Nancy Johnston, Associate Director of Access & Patient Care at Yolo Hospice says, “Our music and memory program touches the most vulnerable of our patients. It provides relief and respite where none could be found.” Those with dementia often become unable to access their memories and can't verbalize their thoughts. The Yolo Hospice program counteracts this memory loss through a couple of activities--dance and music devices, like iPods. The act of movement hot wires the brain and reactivates the connection to memories. Similarly, music is a work around for memory, as the act of singing uses a different part of the brain than language does.
I've gained a deeper appreciation of Yolo Hospice, and the work they do, since partnering with them a year ago. Do you volunteer with a local mental health focused non-profit?