Alive Inside: Movie Shows How Music Helps Dementia

What is Alive Inside about?

Alive Inside is a documentary that follows Dan Cohen, a social worker and founder of Music & Memory. Dan visits nursing homes across the country and shows the positive power of music on older adults with dementia.

Normally out-of-it seniors sometimes start singing, dancing, or speaking!

Dan and the filmmaker also talk with family members who have seen firsthand how music has deeply affected their older adults.


Who would enjoy watching Alive Inside?

Anyone caring for an older adult will get something out of this movie.

It’s a valuable reminder that even if older adults don’t speak or act like they used to, they’re not empty inside. Families caring for an older adult with dementia or Alzheimer’s will especially relate to this film.

Even though the topic is a bit sad, we hope you’ll feel uplifted and inspired to play your senior’s favorite tunes for them.


Touching moments in the film

Bring tissues! You’ll tear up in at least a few of these moving scenes. It’s amazing to watch the happy expressions on formerly blank faces as these older adults listen to their favorite songs.

In one scene, 94-year-old Henry, in an advanced stage of decline, listens to his favorite singer. The music brings him alive again! His eyes are alert, he sways to the beat, he sings along, and even answers questions.


Why are movies like Alive Inside important?

Nursing facilities are working to move away from using medication to treat dementia patients’ moods and behaviors.

To help those efforts, it’s important to spread the word about inexpensive, non-drug therapies that have positive effects.

Imagine if everyone who sees this film is inspired to try music, art, dance, or other creative approaches to engage with people with dementia. What a difference that could make!


Where to watch

Check the Fandango Alive Inside page to search for showings in your area.

Groups or organizations can request a screening at your location.


Next Step  Watch the Alive Inside movie trailer (2 min)


By DailyCaring Editorial Staff
Image: LA Times & BOND/360


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