Customized Playlist for Seniors With Memory Loss Brings Back the Memories!

by | Nov 2, 2020

It has been a true gift to create and spearhead this program, answering a need our island and state had not addressed! I hope you will join with me in providing this no-cost service to every person with memory loss!

Remember Thru Music, originally iPods For The Elderly, is a no-cost program providing customized music on MP3 Players to those diagnosed with memory loss. With over 60 iPods and MP3 Players already distributed to kupuna throughout the Big Island and neighbor islands, Remember thru Music is now a fiscally sponsored program of the North Kohala Community Resource Center, a 501c3, non-profit.

Personalized music brings joy to Kay

Remember thru Music, established in 2016 and initially funded through the annual Christian Women’s Gathering, closely mirrors the national program developed by Music and Memory. ( The utilization of an iPod, or most recently, an MP3 Player customized with the music of a person’s life, often has the capacity for those with memory loss to remember who they are, who their family members are, what they did in work and hobbies, as well as communicate again…even after years of silence! Extensive research indicates that the portion of the brain that remembers music is the last portion lost to Dementia and Alzheimer’s…that hearing the music of one’s life has the ability to open the door to those memories when little else can.

A playlist for Shirly helps to reduce her anxiety!

In addition to often helping those with memory loss reconnect with their old memories, music helps recipients manage stress, supports positive interactions, and encourages and coordinates muscle movements. Our most recent caregiver, Steve, has this to say about the effects the personalized MP3 Player has when enjoyed by his wife: “When Marieta (my wife’s care home owner) asks my wife if she wants to watch TV or listen to music, she always says music. A couple of days ago I had to take my wife in for a flu shot and blood work. Usually she gets very upset when this happens. Also, it is difficult to get her to keep her mask on as it seems to irritate her. But this time she sat quietly in her wheelchair with her headphones on listening to music while all the activity took place. No problems at all. Your program is great – keep it going! Mahalo

There are dozens of facilities on our island that can benefit from this program. Because many suffering from memory loss stay home with their families, there is also a need to educate island communities on the life-altering benefits of personalized music for their loved ones. Our partnership with the NKCRC now affords us the opportunity to apply for grants, while also offering corporate and personal donors a tax deduction. The first grant received under the umbrella of the NKCRC was from the 2019 Clark Realty Foundation. Remember thru Music has also been the recipient of a group donation from the Waimea/Kohala 100 Women Who Care, and most recently received a generous grant from Friends of Hawaii Charities.

For further information on the Remember thru Music program, to become a participating facility, request an MP3 Player for a family member, or to make a tax-deductible donation, please contact me at 808.747.2365, [email protected] or visit

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Jen McGeehan

Phone: 808.747.2365
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I am an adventurer by heart, never letting too much dust settle under my feet. But, I am also a nester, a woman who loves her home, garden, animals, family, and whatever career I happen to be in. In my latest adventure, I’ve successfully merged over 46 years of varied work and life experience into a real estate career that focuses on the goals and dreams of my clients. Are you interested in moving to the Big Island of Hawaiʻi? I’d love to talk with you about your dream goal, and help you achieve it!

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