ABOUT US

1985

Carol and Irwin met and fell in love.

Our Story

1985

Carol and Irwin met and fell in love.

2006

Irwin, now 83, has suffered from dementia and Parkinson’s for the past 14 years. The Rosenstein’s felt their lives slipping away while dealing with the adversities of Parkinson’s Disease and early dementia.

2014

Carol enrolled Irwin in the UCLA Alzheimer’s and Dementia Patient Care program. When he began playing the piano for participating students and adults, something miraculous happened. Within just weeks, it was clear that playing music empowered Irwin, who became more aware, responsive, confident, energetic, talkative and hopeful. Hope and life came back into their home after Irwin’s passion for music was reignited. Carol consulted with their neurologist who explained that “music may help stimulate increases in dopamine secretion from the brain for more sustained levels of energy and happiness.” In fact, according to the American Psychological Association, music is a powerful medicine because it has multiple facets of healing through the mind and body. 

August 2014

After witnessing the dramatic transformation in Irwin’s condition through playing music and recognizing how many people are suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia, Carol knew she had to share her story. Inspired by Irwin and having always been a “fix-it” girl, Carol launched MMM and the organization’s inaugural band, The 5th Dementia. Soon, the caregivers and doctors of other band members began reporting substantial improvements as well. 

Says Carol of their journey, “I feel so blessed to have my buddy back and a quality of life that was missing in our home for a very long time. Ours was a love story that I thought was over but now continues ... just to a little different beat. Playing music creates such excitement that it alters the chemistry of the brain by causing the release of natural dopamine, which controls movement, mood, and cognition. Music not only mends minds but families and relationships. I like to say it restores the rhythm of life and I want to share that medicine with others.” 

Now

Today, new bands are being formed both nationally and internationally by people who have been inspired by our story. Intergenerational support has been proven to help prevent isolation and stimulate cognitive functioning, keeping seniors integrated with society and engaged in social life to help prevent the progression of dementia. Thus Music Mends Minds hopes to continue to foster the development of bands and choirs of seniors and students to help forestall the progression of diseases like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and related dementias.     

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