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“Alive Inside” Hitting Theaters

Social worker Dan Cohen uses music to help client Mary Lou, who is in the late stages of Alzheimer's disease in "Alive Inside." Image courtesy of the film.

Social worker Dan Cohen uses music to help client Mary Lou, who is in the late stages of Alzheimer’s disease in “Alive Inside.” Image courtesy of the film.

“Alive Inside,” a documentary that looks at a social worker’s program that uses music to help people suffering from Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, is hitting theaters after more than two years of production.

The film is already getting attention in the media, including the Katie Couric: Talk That Matters news TV program and theĀ  Los Angeles Times.

“Oh my God, it’s great,” film director and producer Michael Rossato-Bennett told “Have you seen all the people touched by this? It’s really moving well.”

“Alive Inside” follows the work of New York social worker Dan Cohen, MSW, who on a hunch brought iPods to a nursery home to play for patients who suffered memory loss. To the surprise of Cohen and staff, unresponsive patients became more engaged and communicative when they listened to the music of their youth.

Scenes in the film show the patients literally coming alive.

“Studies have shown the music you listened to between the ages of 14 and 20 is the music that will be with you the rest of your life because that is the time of your life when you are forming your brains and who you are,” Rossato-Bennett said in a previous interview.

“Music actually awakens them to the time of their lives when literally they were most alive,” he said.

Social workers who want to see the film should visit the official movie website to watch the trailer and find whether “Alive Itheir area.

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  1. I saw this movie in Toronto last week. I had tears running down my face for at least 3/4 of the movie. Not because of sadness, but because it was showing what almost appeared to be miracles. It was so moving, My husband and I came out of the movie figuring we should get all of our old LPs onto digital to download to ipods, so we are ready:-)
    The Alzheimer Association in Toronto has done research and were so impressed they are placing 5,000 ipods into homes for this programme.
    I encourage everyone to see this, for the actual intervention, explanation of the the science, and the demonstration of the difference that one social worker can make.

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