Remember Thru Music: A local non-profit is helping kupuna with dementia experience their fondest memories

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KOHALA, Hawaii (KHON2) – Remember Thru Music is hoping to turn back time for kupuna who are suffering from memory loss.

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The non-profit organization based on Hawaii Island is hoping the gift of music can shed light into their world.

“The last part of the brain to be ruined by memory loss is the part of the brain that remembers the music of a person’s life,” said Jen McGeehan the founder of Remember Thru Music. “So when you bring that music back, let’s say for example, if they grew up in the 40’s, or 50’s, that music helps remind them of who they were and what they did.”

Since 2016, Remember Thru Music has provided iPods with customized playlists to 50 families across Hawaii.

The Hance family of Honokaa received an iPod for their late father who suffered from dementia.

“Music is the last thing the brain let’s go and it connected to him from his early childhood all the way through his entire life,” said Nalani Hance a participant of Remember Thru Music. “It was important to give them a connection to something that they can hold onto and find joy in.”

The Hance’s put their father’s favorites on the iPod like tunes from Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole and the Ka’au Crater Boys.

“So each of us have our whole lives connected to him through music. So when we would put it on and he just sit in his chair and sing out loud, because you have this headset on. It was just it was adorable and endearing,” said Hance.

Through the sound track of his life, the Hance’s truly believe their father was able to experience his fondest memories once again.

“It was really the only thing that would bring him out sometimes. You know he’d be in a fog, but he put the headset on and he’d come out thinking, which was just wonderful,” Hance said.

Remember Thru Music is free of charge and Ipods can be shipped anywhere statewide.

For more information, click here.

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