‘We know that music soothes the soul’: 1,000 MP3 players donated to Floridians with Alzheimer’s during pandemic

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — This week, more than 1,000 socially isolated seniors and adults living with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia in Florida are being given the gift of music, thanks to a donation from the Florida Alzheimer’s Association.

The Florida Department of Elder Affairs said MP3 players preloaded with the person’s music preference, when possible, are being delivered to caregivers and families of those living with ADRD.

“The music project helps improve engagement between caregivers and their loved ones, and music may help lessen social isolation by allowing people living with dementia to access long-term memories,” said Elder Affairs Secretary Richard Prudom in a news release.


READ: After need nearly triples, Seniors First revamps its meal services to keep vulnerable population fed

Department of Elder Affairs officials said music may benefit both caregivers and those living with dementia by reducing stress or distress, enhancing their moods and increasing the ability to effectively communicate.

Michelle Branham, vice president of public policy for the Florida region of the Alzheimer's Association, said that although music can’t slow or prevent cognitive decline, it can help improve quality of life. She said numerous studies have shown that listening to familiar music can reduce anxiety, depression and aggressive behavior.

READ: How to help seniors in Central Florida amid coronavirus pandemic

“We know that music soothes the soul and now, more than ever, older adults may feel overwhelmed and isolated,” Branham said. “We hope these music players bring comfort and a sense of peace to seniors."

The Florida Department of Elder Affairs is proud to partner with the FL Alzheimer’s Association #AlzFL to bring the gift of music to socially isolated seniors and adults with dementia. This week, over 1,000 pre-loaded MP3 players will be delivered to these Floridians and their caregivers. https://tinyurl.com/yczm4urc

Posted by Florida Department of Elder Affairs on Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Download the WFTV news app and watch Channel 9 Eyewitness News for live updates on this developing story, or click here to have updates sent straight to your inbox.

Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.