In this rough cut excerpt from the 2014 documentary "Alive Inside," a new form of therapy is introduced to nursing home residents — music-listening.
The therapy was particularly effective for one long-time resident named Henry, who loved music, dancing and singing in his youth, but had since lost much functionality in his old age.
Before the music therapy, Henry was mostly uncommunicative, with his head always turned down, but when he is given an iPod and a pair of headphones, something amazing happens.
See for yourself:
"We first see Henry inert, maybe depressed, unresponsive and almost unalive," says Dr. Oliver Sacks M.D., in the video above.
"And then he is given an iPod containing his favorite music..."
"...and immediately he lights up, his face assumes expression, his eyes open wide, he starts to sing, to rock and to move his arms, and he's being animated by the music."
Amazingly, the positive effects of listening to music are long-lasting, according to Dr. Sacks.
In the video above, Dr. Sacks says Henry was "normally mute" and could barely answer yes-or-no questions, but that after the therapy he became quite talkative.
When asked if he likes music, Henry passionately replies, "I'm crazy about music, you played beautiful music, beautiful sound."
Seeing the drastic change within Henry shows that sometimes the smallest things can make all the difference. On the film's website, the creators of "Alive Again" raise the question, "How were so many of our elders forgotten and can we return their connection to life?"
The Alive Inside Outreach Campaign seeks to help answer that question and inspire action. You can donate to the cause here.
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