The 5th Dementia Flagship Band in Los Angeles is Music Mends Minds’ first band. Another will soon start in Mercer Island. Photo courtesy of Mercer Island Rotary

The 5th Dementia Flagship Band in Los Angeles is Music Mends Minds’ first band. Another will soon start in Mercer Island. Photo courtesy of Mercer Island Rotary

Mercer Island Rotary Club launches Music Mends Minds program

The goal is to help seniors with cognitive decline find community through music.

The Rotary Club of Mercer Island is looking for musicians, singers and volunteers as it launches a new program, “Music Mends Minds,” to help people with dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and cognitive decline.

The first program will be on Oct. 23 at the Mercer Island Congregational Church, and will continue to be held from 2:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of each month.

Music Mends Minds is a public 501(c)(3) nonprofit fostering musical support groups or sing-alongs for seniors with neurodegenerative diseases. It can also be effective for those recovering from a stroke, suffering from memory loss through a traumatic brain injury and for veterans with PTSD.

The groups create a community with the musicians, families, friends and caregivers. Music Mends Minds also aims to educate people about the latest scientific findings on the benefits of music for the brain.

With an aging population, the health care industry is facing a pandemic of seniors with neurological diseases including dementia. But according to the Music Mends Minds website, science continues to prove the power of music.

Research shows that music storage remains intact for many patients. In spite of their disease process, their ability to play music and recollect lyrics is maintained.

“This empowers our seniors, increasing their self-worth, confidence and identity,” the website states. “They feel whole and healthy again in the midst of music making.”

Music Mends Minds was founded three years ago, and is now a Rotary Action Group. Club members decided to start the program on Mercer Island after hearing about it from Amy Huggins of Vashon Rotary.

The Mercer Island committee is chaired by John Nelson, and other members include Petra Walker, Shirley Silky, Bob Olsen and Greg Asimakoupoulos. The committee is reaching out to adult family homes, senior facilities and several other clubs and organizations for participants with various stages of dementia, who could be receptive to doing sing-alongs.

See www.mirotary.org for more.

More in Life

Friendship Circles to host their 8th annual Walk, Run, and Community Day

The event will take place on Sept. 22 at Luther Burbank Park.

Libraries are welcoming spaces for everyone | Book Nook

A monthly column from the King County Library System.

Photo by Nityia Photography
                                Dora Gyarmati.
Redefine goals based on virtues to find joy | Health column

A monthly column about mindfulness and wellbeing.

Photo courtesy of Greg Asimakoupoulos
                                Chaplain Greg Asimakoupoulos uses blackberry picking as lessons for life.
Parables of life learned through blackberry picking | On Faith

A monthly column by Greg Asimakoupoulos dealing in matters of faith.

Donna Colosky is superintendent of the Mercer Island School District.
Welcoming students to a new school year

A guest column from Mercer Island School District Superintendent Donna Colosky.

SeaJAM, which kicks off the SJCC Arts + Ideas 2019–2020 season, will present “An Evening with Debra Messing” on Saturday, September 14, at Benaroya Hall’s Illsley Ball Nordstrom Recital Hall. Courtesy photo
SJCC prepares for second annual SeaJAM

SeaJAM will present “An evening with Debra Messing” on Sept. 14.

Photo courtesy of Greg Asimakoupoulos
                                A plaque commemorating the date the Asimakoupoulos family changed its name.
A summer to remember | On Faith

A monthly column dealing in faith.

Ready or not, college is arriving | Guest article

How parents can help their students embark on a college career.

Stephanie Quiroz/staff photos
                                Covenant Living at the Shores residents and staff with Ageless Aviation pilot and team at the Renton Municipal Airport on Aug. 12.
Covenant Living at the Shores Residents take flight

Tom Norris, Sid Boegl, Doug Wilkinson, and Jack Nelson take flight in a 1942 Boeing Stearman.

Leaving for college anxiety | Dear YFS

A monthly advice column about issues faced by Islanders.

Author Claire Gebben gives blacksmithing a go at Bruce Weakly’s private shop on Whidbey Island. Gebben sought to learn the art of blacksmithing to better understand the life of her great-great grandfather, who immigrated to Cleveland in the mid-1800s. Photo courtesy of Claire Gebben
Island author Gebben’s work named Indie Book Awards finalist

“How We Survive Here: Families Across Time” reveals genealogical journey.

Advice for addressing marijuana use in college students | Dear YFS

Dear YFS is an advice column with reader submitted or posed questions from the Island.