5 November, 2021 | 3 min read

Music and Memory in Eskaton Care Centers

Music and Memory in California at Eskaton


By Javonte Page, Communications Intern for Eskaton

A common misconception is as we get older we are faced with an inevitable loss of mental capabilities, and the decline cannot be stopped. Well, I have good news for you: That is not true. Music and Memory, a program developed by New York City Social Worker Dan Cohen in 2006, is proving to be a way to restore the mind’s abilities, even after the onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Cohen’s evidence-based program brings personalized music to people experiencing memory loss.

Eskaton, a leading provider of senior services, prepares to launch Music and Memory to its residents in long-term care. The program utilizes music on iPods to help residents escape the isolation of dementia. Studies demonstrate how music can promote the recovery of some brain functions a person has lost. This might be the answer to helping those with dementia reconnect with family, friends and caregivers.

Research is ongoing, but as a result of this program, participants are happier, more social and calmer. There is growing evidence that a personalized music program will assist healthcare professionals in their effort to reduce reliance on some prescription medications.

The California Association of Health Facilities (CAHF) developed a project with funding by California Department of Public Health (CDPH) to bring the Music and Memory program to Skilled Nursing Facilities throughout California. Research for this project will be conducted by the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at University of California, Davis (UCD). Music and Memory is an exciting program that has the potential to help healthcare organizations carry out guidelines established by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) whose objective is to decrease the use of anti-psychotic medication.

Music and Memory is expected to improve the lives of those who experience it. The program first launches at Eskaton Care Center Greenhaven and Eskaton Care Center Manzanita spring 2016 and will expand to the other care centers in the summer.


- Eskaton to launch grant funded music therapy at four care centers in 2016.

- UC Davis School of Nursing will measure effectiveness of music on residents with dementia and/or Alzheimer’s.

- The California Association of Health Facilities selected the Music and Memory program for Skilled Nursing Facilities to adopt.

- California Department of Public Health and The California Association of Health Facilities fund the roll out of Music and Memory in California. 

- Guidelines were developed by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to help reduce the use of anti-psychotic medication.

At Eskaton, we are committed to being a #1 resource for older adults, families and our local community. Check out our website for tools, educational resources and information to help you navigate health and well-being, supportive services and senior care options. For questions, call our Information and Assistance line Monday - Friday, 8 am to 5 pm at 1-866-375-2866.