Music & Memory is a nonprofit organization that offers personalized music to the elderly and infirm. It is seeking volunteers (one or two hours per week) and used iPod devices of any generation, in any condition.

Local resident Mike Comer said the organization works closely with Tall Pines in Belfast but has an international reach. Donations of music players can be dropped off at Tall Pines.

"We train staff and create and provide personalized playlists using old donated iPods that enable those struggling with Alzheimer’s, dementia and other cognitive and physical challenges to reconnect with the world through music-triggered memories," he said.

The music for each person is chosen individually based on current tastes as well as music they listened to when they were younger, Comer said. He recommends watching a documentary called "Alive Inside" available on Netflix or YouTube to gain full understanding of the benefits of music for the elderly.

The documentary follows numerous visionaries in health care, including social worker Dan Cohen, founder of Music & Memory, as he fights against a broken health care system to demonstrate music’s ability to combat memory loss and restore a deep sense of self to those suffering from it, according to the Alive Inside website.

"We then connect them with one of the playlists we’ve created over the past couple of years or we customize a new one just for them," Comer said. "We then visit Tall Pines two to four times a week and match each interested resident with an iPod and a set of headphones. They listen until they get bored or the batteries run down."

When the resident is finished listening, the staff collects the iPods and returns them to a central charging station to recharge.

For more information about the organization, visit musicandmemory.org. To volunteer, contact Mary Jo Abbott at Tall Pines by calling 338-4117 or emailing tallpinesactivities@yahoo.com; or Mike Comer (mcomer@pivot.net or 505-0063).