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Music Mends Minds: A CNN Hero's mission finds a new need during the pandemic

October 15, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

While quarantine measures help protect seniors from catching Covid-19, social isolation is having a devastating effect on their mental well-being. CNN Hero Carol Rosenstein is finding that her mission of using music to help people battling neurodegenerative diseases has a new importance.

"Diagnoses of some form of neurodegenerative decline brings such isolation to the patient and the families," said 2018 CNN Hero Carol Rosenstein.

In 2014, after witnessing how playing music helped him, Rosenstein started a band for Irwin and others with neurodegenerative diseases.

Since 2014, her nonprofit, Music Mends Minds, has created 20 bands that have improved the quality of life for more than 200 people.

And during the pandemic, Rosenstein believes their music is as important as ever.

Mounting scientific evidence shows that listening and playing music is beneficial for people with neurodegenerative diseases.

"When a musical memory is triggered in people with memory disorders, they don't just remember the song, they also usually remember some other autobiographical memories that are connected," Thaut said.

Our work is so vitally important because we are able to bring music as medicine for the mind to everybody.

And it's really shocked me that we still continue to see people improve using the power of music during our current circumstances.

CNN: Why is it so important for people to engage with seniors during this time, and what are some safe ways to do that?

Rosenstein: It's critical for everyone to feel the love that we are missing in person.

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