Free screenings of the Sundance award-winning documentary, “Alive Inside,” will be presented on December 7 at the Ellen Driscoll Playhouse in Piedmont, and on December 10 at the New Parkway Theater in Oakland.
The film features the work of social worker Dan Cohen, and his determination to address dementia with music. One by one, we are introduced to a series of elderly people who’ve barely said a word in years, who don’t recognize their own children, who do nothing but sit in their nursing homes with little or no interaction with others. Then Cohen provides them with iPods filled with the music of their youth and suddenly they become gloriously happy and alive. The Los Angeles Times calls the film, “…joyous, unexpectedly uplifting…its power is indisputable…”
Current trends in care for persons with dementia have become less medical and more focused on the whole person. Individualized music has entered the picture as more caregivers see the impact it can have for individuals with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Cohen and others discuss how mainly economic barriers in the healthcare system prevent music and other non-traditional therapies from gaining wider use. As one gerontologist says, “the money spent on drugs dwarfs what it would take to deliver personal music to every patient in America.” Because music doesn’t count as a medical interaction, “an inexpensive personal music system takes a lot more paperwork than a thousand-dollar antidepression pill.”
The screenings will also feature discussion sessions with Grace Liu, Site Director for the East Bay Alzheimer’s Association, as well as suggestions for how caregivers and family members can get involved in providing personalized music to patients.
Wednesday, December 7, 2016
Ellen Driscoll Playhouse, 325 Highland Ave., Piedmont.
Free reception at 6:30 PM, screening at 7:00 PM, discussion at 8:15 PM.
Saturday, December 10, 2016
The New Parkway Theater, 474 24th St, Oakland
Screening at 3pm, discussion at 4:15pm