Sequoia Senior Solutions Blog

Comments & Discussions Pertinent to Seniors and Their Families

Revived by Music


ALIVE INSIDE CLIP FOR NAT SCI FOUNDATION from Michael Rossato-Bennett on Vimeo and Paula Span, author of “When the Time Comes: Families With Aging Parents Share Their Struggles and Solutions” from


Maybe you’re among the millions who’ve watched and forwarded this video of an unresponsive 94-year-old with dementia, slumped in his wheelchair at a nursing home in Brooklyn. But when a staff member puts earphones in place and clicks on an iPod loaded with favorite hymns, he awakens, moving to the music, humming along.

He tells an unseen interviewer how much he loved Cab Calloway and mimics his scat singing; he croons a credible “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.” He becomes a different person, or perhaps, for a while, the person he always was.

The clip comes from an hour-long documentary called “Alive Inside,” and its global popularity has stunned both the director, the Manhattan filmmaker Michael Rossato-Bennett, and Dan Cohen, a Long Island social worker.

Two years ago, Mr. Cohen hired Mr. Rossato-Bennett to create a short film about his mission, which is nothing less than bringing personalized music to every nursing home in the nation. As we’ve noted here before, many elderly people remember and respond to music when all other means of communication have shut down.

“It wasn’t something easy to explain with words,” Mr. Rossato-Bennett told me. To persuade nursing administrators to cooperate, “they have to see it.”

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Stanton Lawson is the Co-Owner of Sequoia Senior Solutions. Sequoia’s mission is to ensure a better quality of life for their elderly clients and their families, by providing dependable and affordable in-home care. Sequoia’s focus is to keep you or your loved ones at home and avoid:

  • Loss of friends and possessions
  • Loss of independence and freedom
  • Loss of spirit which is drained by the battles of daily living

Sequoia Senior Solutions, Inc. serves Napa, Sonoma, Marin, Solano, Mendocino, Lake Counties. The main office is located at191 Lynch Creek Way, Suite 102, Petaluma, CA 94954. Email  Tel: (707) 763-6600 Fax: (707) 763-6607,

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  1. Wow-this is so inspiring. I had not seen this and thank you for sharing it. Feel the music. :-)

  2. Stanton Lawson

     /  June 14, 2012

    Thanks, Cathy. We found this to be an incredible video. It gives us so much hope. Please visit again.

  3. Hi Stan. I actually saw this when it aired and thought it was fantastic. It’s amazing what music does. I’m also a dancer so I love music and it definitely has the ability to soothe the savage beast, change a mood and make you smile. Music is an amazing motivator of the heart. I loved this. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Stanton Lawson

     /  July 3, 2012

    Thank you for your remark, Barbara. Music really brought this man back to life. We know that Alzheimer’s Disease affects different parts of the brain, but it seems that perhaps music can create some sort of bridge into supposedly lost sections. Thanks for sharing.

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