As a teacher, my mother was as fiercely devoted to the young ones in her care as she was to her own children. With such an example, I am inspired to find ways to enrich her life. Singing with the 5th Dementia band makes her face light up with smiles.  While I welcome any therapeutic value that music may hold, I find the greatest value is in having a place where my mother can experience joy.  I’m so thankful to have found Music Mends Minds.

Denise Davis

Daughter of Leola Davis, 5th Dementia Band Member

My mom felt accepted right from the start, and rehearsal for 5th Dementia has become my mom’s favorite part of the week because she is reminded that she’s not alone in this battle against Alzheimer’s. It empowers individuals like my mom struggling to find their voice by providing means to self-expression through music. It is a positive environment where my mom can actively reclaim her autonomy and a conduit through which I, as her caregiver, can connect with her on an emotional level.

Amanda Guiliano

Daughter of Cheryl Guiliano, 5th Dementia Member

"Caring for my husband Bill, who was diagnosed with dementia (likely Alzheimer’s) several years ago, has been a wild ride! The life adjustments have been challenging and exhaustive for the entire family and me. That said, Billy’s involvement with the 5th Dementia Band has been a silver lining I never dreamed would happen. Being the lead singer of a band was Billy’s long time life dream when he was in perfect health. Now, it seems, God has fulfilled his wish and we are all being wonderfully entertained by his singing. More important than the entertainment factor is what his singing seems to be doing for his health and condition. Our entire family has noticed a marked improvement in Billy’s cognitive skills and abilities. Since he started participating in the band, he’s much more interactive in family conversations and remembers things that we thought were lost in his memory forever."

Noemia Young

Wife of Bill Young, 5th Dementia Member

“The Fifth Dementia knocked it out of the park today! I cannot tell you how much it meant seeing Len give his all like that! The ‘Over the Rainbow’ number where he was conducting, singing, and crying at the same time was really something…Thank you again for everything you have done to make The Fifth Dementia what it is. Not only is it a space for folks to create music together, it is a wonderfully warm and welcoming group. Bless Carol and Irwin for putting it together."

Adele Plotkin

Wife of 96-year-old Len Doerfler, the “Music Mends Minds 5th Dementia” band conductor about the performance at the Alzheimer's Association gala event, held at the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills

"I am 62 years old and was diagnosed with young- onset Alzheimer's Disease in February 2015. I was an avid trumpeter in my youth and into my young adult life. However, I stopped playing for many years as my family grew and as I built my law practice. In April 2016 I was encouraged through UCLA's Alzheimer's and Dementia Care Program to join Music Mends Minds' 5th Dementia Band. Participating in this band has brought music back into my life and gives me a reason to get up each day. I practice everyday and learn several new songs weekly. With each day's practice, I not only perfect my craft, but benefit from a full blown brain workout. Through my participation, I have noticed improvements in attention, memory, and overall well being."

Mike Hassett

5th Dementia and Jazzanova Trumpet Player

"For the years mum Daphne Delongre was able to attend and sing, the 5th Dementia Band brought her so much enjoyment and happiness. It was truly the one thing she looked forward to each week and would remember each week! I know much of this was due to the warm, non-confrontational way this program is run. It made her feel as though she was part of a family, where she was not judged, but accepted at her level of cognition with no concerns about failure or shame. Music gave my mum hope, laughter, and joy when nothing else could." 

Sara Williams

Participant Daughter

"My good friend Carl Lieberman joined the Jazzanova Band after a Parkinson's diagnosis. Prior to the diagnosis, he was incredibly brilliant and worked for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Since he has started with the band, it has given him new life and something to look forward to. Ruth, his wife, so appreciates Music Mends Minds for giving him this opportunity. He even got a new set of harmonicas and has begun taking lessons. He really loves it. In fact, he LIVES for it!

Lela Weinstein

Advisory Board Member

"Gary is truly loving the rehearsal experience biweekly. It gives him a chance to light the fire of creativity again and have the warmth and approval of his band mates and audiences once again. I see a wonderful lift in him each time he comes home from rehearsal. It's been an exciting journey to see Gary being transformed again by music. The same light shines brightly in the other band members."

Maddy LeMel

Participant Wife and Board Member

"I have been thrilled to hear through many of my caregiver support group members how inspiring and effectively therapeutic the Music Mends Minds program and performances continue to be. Congratulations, Carol and Irwin. Your gifts to the Alzheimer's community are immeasurable."

Gayla Scoll, MA, MFT

Marriage and Family Counselor

"We mix some social time with singing and we focus on having fun... not perfection. This has created a remarkable result in breaking down barriers and fears around dementia, creating a level playing field of participation for everyone."

Bonnie Stover

"Joyful Hearts" Director

"What you have done for us and all the people afflicted with this sad disease, is just so amazing and has to be brought to the attention of the entire Nation. Onwards and upwards!"

Margreth Butterworth

Wife of Band Member

"I am so glad that I found The 5th Dementia. Being diagnosed with Parkinson's 8 years ago took away the singing voice that I was always so proud of. But as a singer in the band, I can once again sing out, knowing the blending of our voices along with the music corrects any raspy notes I might make. Rehearsals leave me energized and singing for the rest of the day, and even into the next!"

Gail Buckley

5th Dementia Member

“Music Mends Minds. It surely does. Twice a week Sam and I take off in our yellow Mustang convertible to a lovely church in Brentwood. Perhaps we are feeling sad, or tired or confused. But once we take our places and start to sing, surrounded by colleagues, friends and new acquaintances, all uncertainties fly out the window. We laugh, we cry, we feel joyous. We are happy. We are alive. We are human. We are here. Yes, Music Mends Minds. But it also mends hearts and souls.”

Paula Namer

5th Dementia Member

“Since the first time I attended a Fifth Dementia rehearsal, I find I get so much out of every performance. I leave every rehearsal and concert with a warm friendly feeling. The friendship and the thrill of performing is hard to express. The smile on my face lasts for a long time after. I find a certain joy out of giving others moments of enjoyment and pleasant memories.”

Ed Fox

5th Dementia Member

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